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Full text of "The Bement story, 1855-1955"

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FOREST PRESERVE PARK 
Bement.lll. 



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A SHADY STREET Bement.lll. 
BEMENT CENTENNIAL — BEMENT, ILLINOIS — JULY 31st THROUGH AUGUST 5th, 1955 



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Spring field 



William G.Stratton 

Governor 



Mar en 31, 1955 



Mr. Charles C. Strohl 
Chairman of Publicity 
Bement Centennial Corporation 
Bement, Illinois 

Dear Mr, Strohl: 

My attention and interest has been 
drawn to the coming Bement Centennial Celebra- 
tion. 

It is gratifying to know that this 
historic anniversary is to be riven appropriate 
recognition. I hope the entire series of planned 
events will be well attended and notably success- 
ful. 




Si/lcerely yours, 



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PREFACE 



This year we, the residents of this community, are celebrating the 100th 
birthday of Bement. The purpose of this Centennial Celebration is three fold: 

1. To honor those early pioneers who settled on the prairie of 
Illinois and created this community. 

2. To have a lot of fun. 

3. To develop a better community spirit, and thus make Bement 
a better place in which to live. 

Bement is not a great city. It is a good town, a quiet, friendly town that 
smiles a welcome to you. A town of shady streets and lawns where chil- 
dren can laugh and play. A town of homes and schools and churches. A 
good town in which to live. 

"The Garden of the Lord" — That is the way George L. Spear, Bement 
pioneer, described Bement. How aptly that describes the Bement of today. 
A Bement that has progressed from swamps and tall prairie grass to a 
community surrounded by rich farm lands, its many tall trees, its modern 
homes, churches, schools, and its fine, friendly people. 

It would be impossible to give a complete history of Bement and the people 
who have lived here during the last 100 years giving credit where it be- 
longs. Therefore, we in no way claim this book to be n history of Bement. 

We have gone through a great many of the existing records, talked with 
individuals, read old newspapers and books and have tried to bring you 
in the limited space available some of the things that we feel have been 
of importance and general interest. 

We hope that this book will be of some value in bringing back memories 
cf things gone by and serve as a record of this Centennial Celebration. 



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yt&cs of progress- 

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pnhst Itemet&istaxj Home," 
fhtetoief Uvslonj \ss\ti- 





BOARD OF DIRECTORS 

BEMENT CENTENNIAL CORPORATION 





CLARK PLUMMER 
Chairman 



R. N. HOLLOWAY 
Vice Chairman 






CARLETON SMITH 
Honorary Chairman 



KEITH M. BELL 
Secretary 



WILLIAM W. REDMAN 
Treasurer 






JOHN W. WALSH 
Director 



L R. BRANDENBURG 
Director 



OLIN DAY 
Director 



LEW WILKINSON 
Director 






GLEN DURBIN 
Director 



EDWARD KANITZ 
Director 



H. E. SLUSSER 
Director 



LYNN CROOK 
Director 




FINANCE DIVISION 

Reading from left to right — Front row: William Gorrell (Underwriting), Mrs. Rose 
Knapp (Sisters of the Swish), Mrs. Evelyn Fair (Novelties), John Pope (Brothers 
of the Brush). Back row: Francis Phillips (Historical Program), F. E. Lincicum (Con- 
cessions), Dick Merry (Decorations), John Hardimon (Chairman of Finance Div.), 
Harry Slusser (Official Hat Comm.) 



PUBLICITY DIVISION 

Reading from left to right: Front row: 
Charles Strohl (Chairman), Mrs. Betty 
Miller (Beautification), Mrs. Leona Hol- 
loway (Distribution), Mrs. Martha Glen- 
non (Press). Back row: A. R. Ayers 
(Radio & T. V.), H. E. Slusser (Speak- 
ers), William Gorrell (Promotion), R. R. 
Siders Jr. (Photography). Absent from 
pholo Willard Morton (Square Dance). 




SPECTACLE DIVISION 

From left to right-- Front row: Mrs. 
Margaret Marker (Properties), Walter 
Slater (Chairman), Miss Isabelle Hous- 
ton (Costumes and Make-up). Second 
row: George Wilkinson (Construction), 
Roy B. Jones (Cast), Lew Wilkinson 
(Scenaria and Title). Absent from photo 
A. E. Bodman (Building and Grounds.) 
Stanley Powell (Spectacle Music). 



SPECTACLE TICKET DIVISION 

From left to right — Front row: John 
Marker (Advance Tickets), Frank 
Yeates (Gates and Ushers), L. A. Hod- 
am (Reserve Seats). Back row: James 
D. Raglan (Div. Chairman), E. A. Stout 
(Queen Contest). 







SPECIAL EVENTS DIVISION 

Reading from left to right — Front row: John Vaughan 
(Historical Windows), D. E. Shonkwiler (Fireworks). 
Back row: William Fleming (Parade), Dan Siders (Cele- 
bration Ball), J. K. Steidinger (Chairman). 



mmmi 



HOSPITALITY DIVISION 

Reading from left to right — Back row: Robert Still 
(Transportation), Clarence Janes (Traffic and Safety), 
Carl Edwards (Chairman). Front row: Mrs. Ruth Patter- 
son ( Homecoming), Mrs. Cordelia Davis (Housing). 




Reading from left to right — Back row: Dave Mark- 
er (Chairman), Joe Rittenhouse (Wednesday), 
Howard Hill (Monday), Ralph Moery Jr. (Friday), 
Rev. Ross Fleming (Sunday). Front row: Ralph E. 
Wright (Saturday), Bran Wilson (Legal Advisor 
for Centennial Corporation), Mrs. Howard Moore 
(Tuesday), Milford Bentley (Thursday). 



Sunday — Freedom of Religion Day 
Monday — Callithumpian Parade Day 
Tuesday — Old Settlers Day 
Wednesday — Illinois Day 
Thursday — Young American Day 
Friday — Agriculture Day 
Saturday — American Freedom Day 



Certificate Number 



3239 







BEMENT CENTENNIAL CORPORATION 



s/tru **/ 9 November ,Q^ @ /fffli j iA /,*,»»>/**/ JL//*> "GENERAL NOT 

For Profit Corporation Act \/^n^.^AA^v^%4> 47JM ^:nA^ 



JNowlliere fore., x Charles F Carpentier ,S&%& 



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/fo,on& Afirttf/tes/sMf / 7 9th . 

SECRETARY OF STATE 




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-AUG 





PASSPORT TO BE ME NT 

THIS IS TO CEfcTIFY THAT 




— _ 



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haa paid the Bum of Oat Dollar to become an Honorary 
Cit.*en of Bement, Illt&ois This passport also permit* 
the bearer to enjoy diplomatic immunity to all Centen- 
nial fiaes, and grants th#- privilege of a cltxen to sell, 
berae. trade, or la general? jhoot the breeze with any 
firm or merchant. 

1855 — Bement Centennial — 1955 
July 31 Thru August 6 




THE EARLY HISTORY OF 
BEMENT 

This is the story of a town — 
a very small town, located in the 
heart of these Illinois Prairies — 
cradled on the black earth of 
these Illinois farm lands. This 
is the story of the early days of 
a prairie town — our town — this 
is "The Bement Story." 

It all began over one hundred 
years ago when Joseph Bodman 
of Williamsburg, Massachusetts, 
heard of the building of a new 
western railroad across the 
prairies of Illinois. Here was a 
chance to grow up with the Land I 
Pioneers would follow that rail- 
road across the wilderness of the 
prairie. Towns would grow up 
along side of it. Prairieland 
would become farmland around 
it. Grow up with the land! A 
man of vision could see that! A 
man of great hope — and great 
faith — and great dreams could 
see that! 

And so he came, from the far- 
away hills of Massachusetts, past 
the wooden buildings of spraw- 
ling Chicago, down the great Illi- 



nois Central to the pioneer ham- 
let of Bloomington, out to the 
flat prairie lands and swamp 
lands that lay south of the ridge, 
south of Monticello, Piatt Coun- 
ty, Illinois. 

Finally, on Christmas Day, 
1853, Joseph Bodman, L. B. 
Wing, and Henry P. Little, halted 
upon the ridge which divides the 
waters of the Sangamon and the 
Kaskaskia, halted and looked 
southward — three solitary horse- 
men on a lonely knoll. 

L. B. Wing later described it 
this way: 

"It was a beautiful day, that 
Christmas Day of 1853 — like au- 
tumn, rather than winter. A 
magnificent view, limited only by 
the powers of vision, was before 
us. It was like looking out upon 
the ocean. No farm, no orchard, 
no living thing or sign of human 
habitation! Everything, so far 
as we could see, was just as it 
had been for centuries. We knew 
that in the groves of timber that 
skirted the water course, a few 
pioneers had built their cabins 
and for years had supplied their 



simple wants by hunting and a 
little farming of the most primi- 
tive sort. But their proximity 
was not apparent to us and in 
no way dispelled the sense of 
complete solitude that oppressed 
us. 

We dismounted and threw our- 
selves upon the sunny slope to 
enjoy the view and debate the 
question whether it was likely 
that this prairie, after remaining 
hunreds of years, was now about 
to attain any particular value. All 
who preceded us had evidently 
come to the conclusion that it 
was like air and water, valuable 
and necessary, so far as it could 
be used; but it was in too large 
a supply to be worth buying. Was 
it likely that the little span of 
time represented by our lives, 
that this condition would greatly 
change?" 

And so they came, saw the 
countless miles of treeless prairie, 
saw the grass tall as a man's 
head. Saw, and for a moment 
doubted, miles and miles of 
worthless prairie land. But they 
were men of vision — and faith — 



and plain Yankee shrewdness. 
And they saw, not what was on 
the prairie, but what might some- 
day be. 

After consulting their maps 
and riding over the land they 
drove stakes, selecting adjoining 
tracts so they wouldn't lose each 
other and in 1854 they secured 
titles to all the land they could 
afford at $1.25 per acre. Joseph 
Bodman bought 6000 acres of 
this prairie land, swamp land, 
grass as tall as a man's head 
land, seemingly worthless land. 
Six thousand acres of "What 
could it ever be good for" land, 
home of the deer and prairie 
wolves and prairie rattler — a 
great sea of grass. 

The year following, the deer 
and prairie wolves were startled 
from their homes by an engineer- 
ing corps surveying the route for 
what is now the Wabash railroad. 
L. B. Wing in 1854 sold to Hunt 
and Carter (agents for the Great 
Western Railroad) 33 acres of 
land in section 19 for $1.00. 

Mr. Joseph Bodman, L.. B 
Wing and Henry P. Little donat- 
ed the ground upon which the 
original town of Bement was laid 
out. Bement was surveyed and 
platted in the winter of 1854-55, 
and the plat was filed on April 
5, 1855. In 1855 Bement consist- 
ed of a few stakes driven in the 
ground and only one log cabin 
between here and Monticello — 
the home of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph 





John Mallory Camp, builder of first 
two houses in Bement, first school- 
house, first Presbyterian Church, and 
many other buildings. 



Joseph Bodman 

A. Alvord. And here the car- 
penters stayed while they built 
the first house in Bement that 
year, April 1855. Mr. Bodman 
went back east and persuaded six 
young men, some of them car- 
penters, to come to Bement and 
"grow up with the country." 
They were: J. M. Camp, J. H. 
Camp, W. H. Ellis, T. T. Pettit, 
Marion Pettit, and Charles Smith. 
These were the first settlers of 
Bement. 

J. M. Camp built the first house 
for Joseph Bodman. It is located 
at 217 W. Bodman street and is 
now the home of Mrs. Burleigh 
Creel and her daughter, Miss 
Guynell Creel. Mr. Alvord hauled 
the lumber for the house from 
Champaign. When completed, the 
house was occupied by a Joseph 
Nye and his wife, who kept 
boarders. 

Later this same year, Mr. Bod- 
man built the second house in Be- 
ment. It was located just west 
of the first house and is now oc- 
cupied by Bill Slagle and his fam- 
ily. When completed, it was oc- 
cupied by Joseph Alvord. Soon 
after, Mr. Bodman erected a 
small office building, the first 
business building in Bement. This 
building was used for various 
purposes including a post office 
and train depot until t^e railroad 
moved one here in 1856. 



In 1856 Mr. L. B. Wing built 
the third house in Bement ana 
it was occupied in the spring by 
Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Force. The 
lumber for this house was ship- 
ped from Chicago. (This house 
was located on the southwest cor- 
ner of Wing and Morgan streets 
where Bob Glennon is building 
his new home this year). Mr. 
Force planted 100 acres of wheat 
at the south edge of the original 
town in the fall of 1856 and har- 
vested an abundant crop in 1857. 
This is the first record of a crop 
here. 

The fourth house built in Be- 
ment was an Irish shanty along 
the railroad. Here in 1856 the 
first birth and death occured in 
Bement — a child of the James 
family. 

The years 1856-57-58-59 saw 
the arrival of other pioneers, 
many of whom settled here or on 
nearby farms. Among them were 
S. K. Bodman, Thos. Postlewait, 
F. E. Bryant, Edmund Davies, 
Luther Bodman, James McDow- 
ell, R. McDowell, Amos Stout, H. 

B. Burgess, Wm. Camp, Elihu 
Fisher, W. D. Coffin, J. C. Evans, 

C. F. Tenney, Thomas Lamb, 
Charles Lamb, Albert Lamb, and 
others. 

Mr. F. E. Bryant, in whose 
home Lincoln and Douglas met in 
1858 to make arrangements for 
their famous debates, arrived in 
Bement July 26, 1856. He im- 
mediately began operating a 
grain, coal, and lumber business. 




L. B. Wing 



"lite Cla^en ok the JZobh 



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Mr. George L. Spear in writing the history of Bement in 1878, 
gave a vivid description of the beauty and richness of our 
native prairie. He concluded that surely this is 

"The Garden of the Lord" 

We have been privileged to serve this fine community for over 
40 years and, as Bement enters its second century of history, it 
is our sincere desire to render the best possible banking service 
so that together we may always be good stewards of 

"The Garden of the Lord" 

State Bank of Bement 

MEMBER FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION 

BEMENT, ILLINOIS 



The next year he started a gen- 
eral merchandise store, the first 
in Bement, and later built sev- 
eral business buildings. He was. 
known (according to George L. 
Spear) as Bement's pioneer 
tradesman, and like Joseph Bod- 
man, was identified with every 
worthwhile project for the 
growth and improvement of the 
village. (Emma Piatt's History 
states that Mr. Bryant's family 
was the seventh in Bement.) 

The first hotel, the Sherman 
House was built in the fall of 
1856 by John Townsend, a Ca- 
nadian, who kept a hotel for the 
accommodation of the traveling 
public and for the few boarders 
who were waiting for something 
to show up. This hotel survived 
for a period until it was moved 
to make way for a new tower- 
ing structure, the Masonic build- 
ing. It was followed by the Penn- 
sylvania House which was built 
in 1858 by James and R. McDow- 
ell and Thos. Postlewait. (This 
hotel was later known as the Ho- 
tel Rennick.) The Pennsylvania 
House later became the principal 
hotel and soon "ranked with the 
first-class houses on the line of 
the Wabash road". Bement's first 
depot was located north of the 
present scout headquarters. Ste- 
phen B. Hawks was the first 
yardmaster, being appointed in 
November 1857. Switching was 
done by a yoke of white oxen 
hitched to the freight cars by a 
log chain. Mr. Hawks also had 
charge of the pumping of water 
for the railroad and it was also 
his duty to "rack up" four cords 
of wood each day for the night 
trains. He served until 1870. 

The first Sabbath-school, a un- 
ion one, was organized in May 
of 1856. Meetings were held in 
Bodman and Camps warehouse. 





Mr. John McNamee and his daughter 
Nellie McNamee in front of their 
Variety Store on Bodman street. This 
building is now occupied by L. J. For- 
cum. 



A depot was moved from Deca- 
tur in the winter of 1856, and 
Mr. and Mrs. T. T. Pettit report- 
ed that the first sermon in Be- 
ment was preached by Mr. Sam- 
uel Harshbarger in the new de- 
pot. 

The first school election was 
held November 10, 1856. Joseph 
Bodman, Aaron Yost, and Henry 
C. Booth were elected directors. 
Henry Booth was employed to 
teach the first three month term 
at $40 per month. The first school 
was taught in a dwelling built 
by Wm. Pickens. 

The Methodist Episcopal 
Church of Bement was the first 
church to be organized in Be- 
ment. It was organized in 1858 
under the pastorate of Rev. Rut- 
ledge. Meetings were held in the 
school house and in Bryant's 
Hall. 

The first flour mill in Bement 
was erected in 1858 by D. H. Rust 
in Bodman's addition near the 
railroad on the south side. The 
mill did a big business and was 
the pride of Bement until it acci- 
dentally caught fire and burned 
in 1860. 

Louis H. Alvord was born in 
1858 — probably the second child 
to be born in Bement. 

After this, the settlers came 
to Bement too fast for us to be 
able to trace their order of ar- 
rival. 



1859 — Bement was growing 
and Rea's addition was added to 
Bement. There were about 50 
students in school, which necessi- 
tated the building of a school 
building. It was located on the 
present site of the grade school 
building and was completed in 
June, 1859. J. B. Lowell was 
employed to teach at $28 per 
month and was instructed to hire 
an assistant at $17 per month — • 
the first teachers in Bement's 
first regular school building. 

Mr. C. F. Tenney moved to Be- 
ment in 1859 and said that at 
that time Mr. Bryant had the 
only dry goods store in Bement. 
There were no sidewalks and the 
streets were not graded, ana 
there was not a tree in the town. 




Camp and Tenney building with Town 
Pump in foreground. 



30WEN I 



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281 E. BODMAN Mr. and Mrs. Loren Bowen, Props. BEMENT, ILLINOIS 

Distributor of 

STUDEBAKER 

The Oldest Automobile Manufacturer in America Today 

Est. 1852 

Salutes . . . 
BEMENT, ILLINOIS on its 100th ANNIVERSARY 



/955 SfrakMer 

STfU SETS 7WE PACE 

acfancect 'sty/e 



May the spirit of the Centennial Celebration in Bement 

set the pace for prosperity, improvement 

and success in the years ahead 



Visit our Showroom while enjoying BEMENT'S CENTENNIAL 
JULY 31st thru AUG. 6th, 1955 




There were just enough ladies in 
town who danced to form one set. 
He recalled that a favorite pas- 
time on a Sunday afternoon was 
to drive to the timber to lie in 
the shade of a tree. The mud 
was so bad that a wagon would 
mire down in the middle of the 
street and teams frequently had 
to be pulled out with extra teams 
or oxen. In wet times it was 
impossible for the ladies to be 
on the streets, and in dry times 
the fleas in the corn-cob side- 
walks made it most undesirable 
for them to be out. And there 
were millions of green-head flies 
and mosquitoes to add to the mis- 
ery of the early settlers. 

The Death of Miles Conway . . . 

Late in the autumn of 1859, Miles 
Conway who lived a little to the 
east of the village was on his 
way home, carrying on his per- 
son about $1200. A man by the 
name of Godfrey followed him 
and soon overtook him. Godfrey 
beat and stabbed him until the 
attacker was frightened away as 
help came to the rescue. When 
the men reached Conway, he was 
able to tell them the identity of 
his assailant. However he was 
too weak from loss of blood to 
help himself, so they carried Con- 
way to a nearby house and sent 
for Dr. Elam Bodman to dress 
the wounds and administer stim- 
ulate to revive the patient. Mr. 
Conway lingered under treatment 
for about a month before he died. 
The assassin was pursued all 
light and was finally captured 
in a thicket a little east of Mon- 
:icello. At first he was sentenced 
:o 14 years, but he obtained a 



new hearing and was finally sen- 
tenced to only 10 years. 

1860 — Bement was incorporat- 
ed as a town in 1860. The first 
Board of Trustees were: Joseph 
Bodman, J. C. Sparks, F. E. Bry- 
ant, C. F. Tenney, George L. 
Spear, and E. B. Sprague. Be- 
ment is the only town in the 
United States with this name. A 
Mr. Bement, an official of the 
Great Western Railroad, prom- 
ised to donate a bell to the first 
church organized in town, if the 
town were named after him. 
However, he did not live to ful- 
fill his promise. 

Bement's first newspaper, The 
Bement Union, started publica- 
tion in April 1860, with Mr. 
James Shoaff as editor. The Be- 
ment Register dates from 1890 
to the present — (65 years.) 

A Literary Society was started 
in the winter of 1860-61. It was 



an important organization in the 
lives of the early settlers and 
contributed much to their cul- 
tural welfare. 

Corn was 10c a bushel and 
times were tough. 

1861 — Bement was still grow- 
ing and Mansfield Freeze addi- 
tion and Bodman's addition were 
added to the town. A Protestant 
Episcopal Church was organized 
in September of 1861, but the 
church did not last long and we 
have no record of when or why 
it was disbanded. The Masonic 
Lodge was organized on January 
26, 1861. It was one of the 
strongest and most influential or- 
ganizations in the early history 
of Bement. 

1862— The Christian Church 
was organized on January 19, 
1862. 

The Civil War— (April 12, 1861 
to April 9 ,1865 . .) 

We have no record of impor- 
tant developments during the 
Civil War Period, except that 
Piatt County was a staunch sup- 
porter of the Union cause and 
had more volunteers in propor- 
tion to the population than any 
other county in the State. There 
was the difference of two broth- 
ers by the name of Williams; one 
joined the Union cause, and the 
other the Confederate cause. 
Then there was the incident of 
the train carrying soldiers that 
got stuck in a snow drift near 
Bement in the winter of 1864. It 
was stuck for three days and the 
soldiers nearly ate the town out 
of house and home. 

In 1862, S. K. Bodman (nephew 
of Joseph Bodman and father of 
Mrs. W. A. Hammond, Miss Clara 
Bodman, Edgar Bodman, and J. 




An industry that helped probably more than any other to rid this land of sur- 
face water was that of the Bement Tile Works. In the Spring of 1882 Elcock and 
Rhinesmith started these works. A few years later the firm was known as El- 
cock and Sultzeberger. Finally C. F. Tenney became sole proprietor. This con- 
cern manufactured not only tile, but also paving and building bricks. The old 
tile yard was located on the grounds of our now beautiful Forest Preserve Park. 



lite Goob Ow Uaxis Qie Gone jCteOeii 




The 

Modern Way 

is the... 



S 



DC 




H E N . . . A feller could . . . 



Get his cornpads and cough medicine, pick up his mornin' mail, 
grab a pickle out of the wooden keg to tone down his mornin' 
appetite, get his vittles for the week, and his seegors, too, all in 
the one and only store in town. Friendly Joe, the proprietor, knew 
all the town gossip, too, and even furnished a spitoon fer the 
convenience of his customers. 



T D A Y . . . A feller can . . . 



Not only get his cornpads and cigars, but find articles unheard 
of in the "good old days" in our friendly, complete, modern home 
owned food center. Goodness knows, times have changed, and so 
has the Superway. Being friendly and helpful is a very important 
policy, but improving our store and its facilities to meet our cus- 
tomers demands is also greatly stressed. 



Elton and Dorothy Haynes . . . Dick and Alice Lucille Merry 

Lee Lawson . . . Mazo Sinclair . . . Nancy McCollum 

Charles Lawson . . . Buddy Shonkwiler 

H. & M. SUPERWAY 



BEMENT 



PHONE 2557 



ILLINOIS 





Old Presbyterian Church 

L. Bodman) purchased the drug 
store operated by his uncle, Dr. 
Elam Bodman. S. K. Bodman 
had come to Bement in 1856 and 
taught school here and in Goose 
Creek township for a few years. 
He then went back to Ohio for 
a year or two before returning 
to Bement to make his home. In 
1866 he built a two story brick 
building that still houses the Bod- 
man Drug Store. It is the oldest 
business in Bement in continuous 
operation by the same family. 
Edgar Bodman has operated it 
since 1903; S. K. Bodman — his 
father — having died in 1902. For 
a time the drug store was used 
as a postoffice with S. K. Bod- 
man as postmaster. He was first 
appointed during Lincoln's ad- 
ministration. In all, he served 
16 years as postmaster. 




This building also houses tlie 
W. A. Hammond Jewelry Store. 
Mr. W. A. Hammond started in 
business in Bement in 1895 and 
this year marks his 60th year 
on Main Street, making him th& 
senior business man in Bement. 




Bodman Drug Store. Also serving as 
Post Office. 



W. A. Hammond, Bement's senior busi- 
nessman. 

1866 — An addition was added 
to the school, the cemetery site 
was purchased and a Library As- 
sociation was formed. 

1867 — Prior to this time the 
Catholics of the community were 
served by Rev. A. Vought of De- 
catur. In 1866 the idea of build- 
ing a Catholic Church here was 
conceived, and in 1867 a 26' x 46' 
building was erected at a cost of 
$2100. This building was located 
on West Moultrie street wnere 
Joe Rittenhouse now lives. 

Irwin Lodge No. 344, Bement, 
Illinois, I. O. O. F. was instituted 
by a charter granted October 9, 
1867. 

1868— 

The First Presbyterian Church 
was organized August 29, 1868. 

Mr. William arid Horace Halde- 
man and G. C. Nichols built a 
mill in Bement. This was one of 
the most perfectly equipped 
flouring mills in the state, hav- 
ing the full roller process and 
every improvement known to the 
manufacture of the best grades 
of flour. The mill was the best 
and largest in the county. 
George Harper - Cattle Thief 

For many years, a farmer now 
and then, here and there, would 
occasionally miss from their 
herds a fat steer. At length, sus- 



picion rested upon one George 
Harper and some time during the 
year of 1868, money was raised 
to employ a detective by the 
name of Bidwell to try to obtain 
proof. In less than a week, Bid- 
well notified the interested par- 
ties and conducted them to the 
slaughterhouse of George .Har- 
per, where they at once identified 
a fat steer belonging to L. B. 
Wing. Sheriff George Miller was 
called and they hid in a nearby 
cornfield to wait for Harper to 
return. About 5 P.M. George 
Harper and his son returned to 
slaughter the animal. As soon as 
the beef had been knocked down 
and throat cut, and while their 
hands were yet red with blood, 
Sheriff Miller and his posse sal- 
lied forth entering the den of 
perfidy and ill-gotten gain, step- 
ped forward and read the war- 
rant and made the arrest. Harper 
escaped from the jail at Monti- 
cello while being held for trial. 
He was later traced to Kansas 
where he met his death in a gun 
battle. 
1871— 
Murder of Sylvester Buckley 

Sylvester Buckley kept the ho- 
tel on Bodman street where the 
Masonic Building now stands, 
from the close of the Civil War 
until his death, which occurred 
on the 23rd day of December, 
1871. The circumstances of his 
death created considerable ex- 
citement in the village. He had 
become very drowsy and finaRy 
had passed out on the floor of 
the dining room of the hotel. 
Most people thought it was due 
to too much liquor, but finally 
upon closer examination, they 
found him to be dead. Suspecting 
foul play, a post-mortem exami- 
nation was conducted and it was 
found that he had died of an over- 
dose of morphine. Upon investi- 
gation, they obtained a conression 
from James Ready (alias Dick 
Turpin), who was a guest at the 
Hotel at the time. He was later 
convicted of the crime and was 
sentenced to the penitentiary for 
a term of 14 years. 
1873— 

The railroad going north, 
which is now the Chicago division 
of the Wabash, was completed 
and put into operation through 
the county in 1873. This road was 
formerly called the Chicago and 
Paducah, and was laid by the 
Bloomington and Ohio River 
Railroad Company, which was 
chartered in 1867. 




T LET PROSPERITY SLIP 
!UGH VOUR FINGERS 



WE INVITE YOU TO CONSULT . . . 




F 



S 



oore rarm oervice 

In Bement, Illinois for . . . 
ORE PROSPERITY IN YOUR FARMING EFFORTS 



LIQUID FERTILIZERS 



MAX MOORE — HOWARD MOORE — HOWARD MOORE, JR. 







1876— 

The cornerstone for the Ma- 
sonic Building was laid on May 
25, 1876. The site is the same to- 
day, and the building is the same 
except that the original open 
stairway on the north, which led 
from the street to the basement, 
has long since disappeared from 
view. 
1880— 

Sometime around 1880, a new 
elegant depot was built on the 
present site of the Wabash depot. 
To the east of it was a baggage 
room, and across the tracks 
southeast was a larger freight 
house. 
1890— 

By 1890, Bement business men 
were conducting a number of en- 
terprises. Among these were 
seven grocery stores, three dry- 
goods stores, two hardware 
stores, five wagon, buggy and 
blacksmith shops. There were 
two plasterers, a furniture store, 
a drug store, a restaurant, a bak- 
ery, a barber shop, a grain com- 
pany, a novelty store, a bank, 
the flour mill and a cigar factory. 
From this list you can see that 
Bement offered quite a variety 
of services to its citizens. In her 
history of Piatt County, Emma 
Piatt had this to say about Be- 
ment: "Bement is 'booming' just 
now, and persons desiring to lo- 
cate in a thriving, energetic place 
cannot find a better one of its 
size in central Illinois." 

Evidently there was a market 
for bicycles in Bement, since Mr. 
Harry Bower had the agency. A 
choice of five styles was offered: 
The American Rambler for $125; 



The American Light Rambler for 
$135; The Crescent Safety for 
$75; the Juno for $60, and the 
Little Giant for $35. The Amer- 
ican Light Rambler and the Juno 
were suitable for the ladies, while 
the Little Giant would fit the 
needs of boys .and girls. 

Between 1880 and 1913, Be- 
ment was the victim of three fires 
in the business district. The east 
block of this district on Bodman 
street was comprised of four 
brick buildings in 1880: the Ma- 
sonic Building on the east corner, 
the building on the west corner 
(now occupied by Kintner's Gro- 
cery), the building now occupied 
by Dr. Powers, and the Bodman 
Drug Store building. These four 
brick buildings were all separated 



from each other with frame 
buildings in between. 

In the first of these fires, three 
firms were burned out — a gro- 
cery store, a barber shop, and a 
bakery, located between the Ma- 
sonic Building and the building 
now occupied by Dr. Powers. 
Since all of these were frame and 
since the only method of combat- 
ing fires then was a bucket bri- 
gade, little could be done, except 
to watch it burn until it reached 
the next brick building. In all 
probability this fire occurred in 
1885. 

The second fire burned out 
those business establishments be- 
tween the building now occupied 
by Dr. Powers and the Bodman 
building, consisting of two boot 
and shoe stores, a Chinese laun- 
dry, a butcher shop, and a no- 
tion's store. Before a third fire 
could destroy the remainder of 
the frame buildings in this block, 
they were moved across the street 
on West Bodman street, and 
brick buildings were built to re- 
place them. With the construc- 
tion of the other buildings which 
had been destroyed, the entire 
block was no brick, being com- 
pleted in 1897. 

The third fire occurred in the 
west block of the business dis- 
trict on Bodman street, starting 
at the corner it spread to the 
west as far as the Knapp Hard- 
ware Store. A fire wagon was in 
use by this time — a two wheeled 
hand car, necessitating two men 
to work the hand pump. The hose 
was put into a well and the water 





QUALITY FARM 
- EQUIPMENT 



mJkademank of Quoftfy 
Macta famous («| GmxL Lnpfcni£«t4. 



Compliments of 

W. A. DRAKE 

BEMENT ILLINOIS 



May the observance of Bement's Centennial so inspire all those 
whose privilege it is to help make possible, to doing even 
greater things for Bement's future. 

We'd enjoy having you come in 
and get acquainted while enjoying 
the Bement Centennial 

July 31st through August 6th 



JUNIOR ADAMS 


HARRY ALLEN, JR 


LEO FENDLEY 


SIMONE DRAKE 


HAROLD WILLIS 


HUGH PHILLIPS 



was pumped by hand to put out 
the fire. Naturally, not enough 
could be pumped fast enough, so 
more water was brought from 
the Wabash watertower. Fortu- 
nately, two engines were in Be- 
ment at the time, and these were 
used to bring the water from the 
tower, located at the edge of 
town, to the scene of the fire. 
Then a bucket brigade was form- 
ed in getting the water to the 
buildings. During reconstruction 
of these buildings, a second fire 
broke out and this time the in- 
side of the new buildings were 
burned. Before 1899, three fires 
had also struck the schoolhouse 
in Bement. These are described 
in the school section of this book. 





FROM THE BEMENT REGISTER, MAY 5, 1904 

The street sprinkler, with R. H. Booker and the mules in charge, made its 
debut on the streets Monday evening, and was a welcome visitor for the mer- 
chants who have been "fighting dust" for some time. 

The Bement Grain Company 
was organized in 1902. It was 
one of the first cooperatives to 
be established in the state. De- 
spite early trials, when farmers 
as well as others regarded the 
movement with suspicion, the 
company survived and expanded. 

The main street of Bement 
(Bodman street) was paved in 
1912. By 1913, the main business 
section of Bement was confined 
to Bodman street. In addition to 
the four brick buildings men- 
tioned before on the east block 
of Bodman street, by 1913, ten 
additional brick buildings had 
been constructed. Except for re- 
modeling, these buildings are the 
same now as they were then. 

One grocery store, that of Mr. 
T. B. Ewing, consistently adver- 



tised, although there were also 
two others in Bement in 1913. 
Other businesses whose ads 
could be found in the paper prac- 
tically every week were: the two 
banks, Swenson's furniture store, 
Hughes and Bodman (dry goods), 
Taylor and Siders (hardware), 
W. W. Body (drygoods), John 
McNamee (drygoods), Schuh & 
Son (implements), Dan Hall (in- 
surance), W. W. Davis (drug 
store), George Clark (imple- 
ments), and Lum Groff (pro- 
duce). Those appearing less fre- 
quently were: L. U. Alvord (gro- 
cery), Geo. Tracey (painting), 
Knapp (hardware), Darl Evans 
(wallpaper), George McCabe 
(watch repair), A. Bradley (har- 
ness maker), Bower and Dicken- 
son (men's clothes), K. B. Har- 
low (drygoods), Shaw & McGin- 
ness (implements), Herman 
Krause (tailor), Bement Manu- 
facturing Co., Bement Grain Co., 
and the Bement Brick Co. 




Camp and Tenney building, old school house in background, and ox team on the 
west of the building. 




Established 1865 
90 YEARS OF SERVICE 

BEMENT LUMBER CO. 

BEMENT, ILLINOIS PHONE 4101 

ROY B. JONES, Owner — EDWARD E. FRITZ 



CONGRATULATIONS 
BEMENT 



. . . May your 100th Birthday celebration be but the begin- 
ning of a feeling of unity and pride that will make this com- 
munity a place that future generations will be proud of . . 
a heritage they will cherish and preserve. 



Charles C. Strohl 



CHRYSLER - PLYMOUTH DEALER 



BEMENT, ILLINOIS 



PHONE 3311 



GAY NINETIES IN BEMENT 

The "Gay Nineties" in Bement 
were typified by a closeknit com- 
munity spirit. The nation as a 
whole was relaxing after a near 
economic collapse, and our com- 
munity — like the rest of the 
country, responded with a feeling 
of gaiety and fun making. 

During this period, our village 
had board sidewalks along Bod- 
man Street, and it was quite the 
fashionable and popular pastime 
for the fair maidens to stroll 
along the main street on Satur- 
day afternoon — dressed in their 
best, complete with a parasol. It 
was said that a lady's age could 
be determined by the length of 
her skirt. The lengths ranged be- 
tween a knee length skirt for the 
little girls, to the ground-sweep- 
ing length for the married ladies. 
Mr. Carl Thompson says he can 
seldom ever remember even see- 
ing his mother's feet. 

Fun was mostly the home- 
made kind. Cards and dancing 
were frowned upon by many. Still 
these forms of entertainment 
were beginning to be popular and 
many dances were held in the 
"Town Hall" over what is now 
the State Bank of Bement. Other 
buildings along Bodman Street 
also housed halls and large rooms 
used by various organizations for 
their social functions. Sunday 
School picnics were delightful oc- 
casions. A most popular spot for 
these picnics was along the Sang- 
amon River. On one of these oc- 
casions, the group gathered in 




BEMENT BAND — 1897 

This picture was taken on August 26, 1897 in front of McDaniels Dry Goods 

store. Reading from left to right: Back row — George Thompson, John K. 

Barnes, Charles Mowyer, Darl Evans, Cyrus Bruce, Carl Thompson, Charley 

Pope, Thomas Priestly. 
Front Row — Ralph Pettit, Ralph Martin, Harry Cornelius, Mr. Dawson from 

Decatur, Charley Dawson, Richard Fleming, Mayo Evans, Miller Evans. 
The two drummers are W. B. Stewart on the left and Ed Eckman on the right. 



Bement — piled themselves into 
wagons all hitched together and 
drawn by a steam engine — and 
thus joyously embarked upon the 
tedious trip over country roads 
to the picnic spot. During the day 
they were drenched with rain, 
and since the roads were not what 
they are today, the picnickers 
had to be rescued in horse-drawn 
carriages, buggies and wagons. 
The original caravan of steam 
engine and wagons had to be left 
at the picnic spot until the roads 
dried off again. 

Another young peoples' group 
who favored the great out-of- 
doors called themselves "The 









*- * M'- 




SNkwkv 



PIATT COUNTY CHAMPIONS — 1894 

Reading from left to right: Forney Thompson, pitcher; Lou Hill, catcher; Charles 
Houk, umpire; Shorty Grinnup, left-field; Otto Webb, substitute; Wm. Mann, 
icenter- field; Ed Body, 3rd base; George Thompson, right-field; Ross Rennick, 
1st base; Fred Fales, short-stop; Oda Evans, manager; and Art Shook, 2nd base. 



Smith Family." During the sum- 
mer months the whole group 
went on camping trips, pitching 
tents and staying a week at a 
time. The women remained in 
camp during the day, while the 
men who were in business re- 
turned to the village during the 
day. Then all returned to the 
camping ground for the evening 
meal and an evening of song and 
relaxation around the campfire. 
The group divided into commit- 
tees — each committee being re- 
sponsible for one evening meal 
during the week. 

The highlight of the summer's 
fun was the Annual 4th of July 
Celebration which got off to a 
bang-up start with a Calithump- 
ian Parade. (Dictionary Defini- 
tion — a humorous formation, 
noting or pertaining to a loud, 
boisterous parade, with the blow- 
ing of tin horns and other dis- 
cordant noises.) The parade 
would form between nine and ten 
in the morning and led by the 
Town Band; this gala group of 
decorated wagons and costumed 
residents wound its way through 
the town. Often times the various 
groups of merry-makers would 
pantomime incidents that had oc- 
curred during the preceding year 
— poking fun at various citizens, 
clowning around, and in general 
having a riotous time. Folks 
drove into Bement from all the 
surrounding community in farm 
wagons, buggies, and carriages. 
Many large families came on hay 
racks, bringing their dinners with 
them in baskets. In the afternoon 




We're the Pioneer Grocery in Bement . . . 

22 Years In the Same Location .... 
In the Oldest Building in Bement 

May We Join in Extending 

BEST WISHES 

on this 

MOMENTOUS OCCASION 

KINTNER'S 

RAY KINTNER KEN STEIDINGER 

and Employees 



HELPING TO MAKE HISTORY IN THE BEMENT COMMUNITY 

SINCE 1920 

VOORHIES 

CO-OPERATIVE GRAIN CO. 

ELEVATOR AT VOORHIES - 4 MILES SOUTH OF BEMENT, ILLINOIS 

SALUTES BEMENT AND COMMUNITY ON THEIR 
100th YEAR OF PROGRESS 



ELBERT BRADLEY OSCAR WINZENBURGER 

President Secretary-Treasurer 

WILLARD MORRIS CHARLES MARSHAL 

Vice-President Manager 



everyone gathered at the village 
park to listen to speakers and 
take part in 3-legged races, egg 
races (where each participant 
had to pick up a fresh egg on a 
wooden shingle and carry it on 
that shingle to a certain point and 
back to the starting point), foot 
races, pie-eating contests, rope- 
pulling contests, etc. Some ex- 
tremely dexterous lads tried their 
hand at catching greased pigs 
and climbing greased poles. At 
one of these celebrations, a bi- 
cycle race was held around the 
section which would now be des- 
ignated as beginning at Coles 
pasture, riding south to the Pos- 
tlewait farm, one mile east to the 
corner, north to the Frank Lux 
farm and back west to Coles 
pasture. Of course, this wonder- 
ful day of fun and festivity was 
brought to a fitting conclusion 
with a spectacular display of 
fireworks. 

Groups of touring performers 
made their way into Bement dur- 
ing this period. Medicine Shows, 
in the old tradition, offered enter- 
tainment and patent medicines. 
Drama groups performed at the 
Town Hall. The business men 
sponsored "Lyceum Bureaus" or 
Lecture Courses wnich usually 
ran for a week and were held 
at the Town Hall or at the park. 
These courses featured musicals, 
drama, poetry and elocution. 
They were both entertaining and 
educational. 

Our village grew and was mod- 
ernized considerably during the 
Nineties. Many boarding houses 
and lodging places were available 
in Bement at this time. By way 
of mention, some of these were 
known as the Quick Hotel, The 
Murphy House, the McDowell 
House (later known as the Be- 
ment House), and the Renick 
House. Probably the two best re- 
membered, however, are The 
White House and The Hotel Ven- 
dome. 

The White House stands today 
as it was in 1898 and Mr. Harden, 
the present owner, is a nephew 
of Mrs. White and her sister who 
maintained it as a boarding house 
and lodging place. These sisters 
started serving meals and offer- 
ing lodging in 1865. What is now 
the kitchen and dining room was 
then only the dining room. A 
tremendous room which accom- 
modated two huge tables, and 
judging from a picture of one of 
these meals which Mr. Harden 




ONE OF THE EARLY FOOTBALL TEAMS IN BEMENT 

Front row from left to right: Charles Knapp, William Mann, Willard Toby, prin- 
cipal. Lewis Wise, Otto Webb, James Lamb, Dean Conway, Harvey Vance, 
Roy Webb. 

Back row from left to right: Forrest Rose, Fred Tenney, Charles Mcintosh, 
Supt., Luther Conway. 



has in his possession, a grand 
array of delicious food was of- 
fered and undoubtedly enjoyed 
by their boarders. Many local 
young business men who had not 
established homes at the time, 
partook of this hospitality as well 
as those people who were passing 
through Bement. 

The Hotel Vendome, later 
known as the Arlington Hotel, 
was constructed in 1896 and re- 
mained until it was torn down in 
1937. At the time of its construc- 
tion, the Wabash Railroad was 
seriously considering Bement as 
•a suitable location for their shops 
and roundhouse. (They purchas- 
ed 62 V-j acres of land at the west 
edge of Bement.) Thus a good 
hotel was deemed a fine idea and 
the Hotel Vendome was con- 
structed by a Mr. W. D. Fair- 
banks from Farmer City. The ho- 
tel contained 40 sleeping rooms, 
parlors on the three floors; and 
kitchen, traveling salesmen's sam- 
ple rooms, and office on the first 
floor. The opening, held in the 
spring of 1897, was a social func- 
tion long to be remembered. Cit- 
izens of Bement and nearby 
towns and hotel men attended. 
Mr. and Mrs. E. L. Riggs were 
the managers at this time and 
had prepared a wonderful ban- 
quet for the guests at the modest 
sum of $2.00 per couple. Among 
the eight young men who served 
as waiters receiving $2.00 for the 
evening were: Arthur Shook, 
Carl R. Thompson, Will Mann, 
and Jack Foster. Following the 
banquet, the dining room and of- 
fice were cleared and those Who 



enjoyed dancing were allowed the 
privilege. The hotel changed 
hands several times during the 
intervening years, but gradually 
became a bad investment as the 
Wabash Shops were built in De- 
catur, and with the advent of 
good roads and modern transpor- 
tation, there became no necessity 
for maintaining a hotel here. 



Jan. 12, 1893 - Adv. from Hal- 
deman Milling Co. — "All kinds 
of grain, including corn in the ear 
or shelled, ground for feed for 
10c per cwt., cheaper than your 
cow can chew it." 

Feb. 2, 1893 — Joel Dunn's 
smoke house was robbed of two 
hams Sunday night. The vaga- 
bond who would steal the last 
two hams from a smoke house 
on Sunday night when pork is al- 
most "out of sight" should be 
treated to a coat of tar and feath- 
ers." 

April 5, 1893 — Taylor and 
Siders would like for the gentle- 
man who "borrowed" the short 
end of their extension ladder to 
either return it, or call for the 
other half. 

June 22, 1893 — L. H. Alvord 
sold 600 quarts of strawberries 
Tuesday. 

Dec. 27, 1893 — Adv. Don't 
sleep on the floor that will make 
times harder than ever for you. 
From me you can get* a whole 
bedroom set for $11.00. This 
means nothing less than three 
pieces: Bedstead, Dresser, and 
Wash Stand, well made goods 
and nicely polished. 

Andrew Swenson 





CONGRATULATIONS 




Bement on Your lOOJh Birthday 


BODMANS DRUG STORE 


#^r€ 


Established 1862 


^^^^^^v**" x S ^^^^F 


by 


from 


S. K. BODAAAN 


BELL INSURANCE AGENCY 




Phone 2281 Bement, III. 


Compliments of 


where 


E. S. BODMAN 


friendly, competent advice 
is always available 


In business in 


concerning 


same location 


ALL TYPES OF 


since 1902 


INSURANCE 




BE SURE TO INSURE 




KEITH M. BELL 



Supplying Bement's Building Needs 



IHE WILKINS 



1 
J 



D 




— BUILDING MATERIALS — 



Ivesdale 



BEMENT 



Monticello 



As a regular feature of the pa- 
per at that time, the editor pub- 
lished the time table for the Illi- 
nois Traction and the Wabash. 
This would seem to indicate that 
many Bement people used the 
trains quite extensively for trans- 
portation. The modern automo- 
bile was not yet in common use; 
however, Bement was not with- 
out its car dealers in those days 
since the Ford, Studebaker, and 
Rambler were offered for sale. In 
advertising the last of these, at- 
tention was called to the fact that 
even a woman could operate this 
car, since you merely had to 
"push a button under the foot to 
start the motor." 

Another type of business found 
in Bement about this time was 
the Horse Barn, operated by Mr. 
John Breen at the present loca- 
tion of the Bowen Motor Co. It 
was to this sale barn that he 
brought horses which he pur- 
chased throughout central Illi- 
nois. When the market was right 
and the horses in condition, they 
would be shipped to Chicago or 
New York. However, he dealt 
with draft horses, and when the 
tractor began to replace them, 
Mr. Breem was forced to sell out. 

Many changes in the business 
picture of Bement were seen in 
1916. More grocery stores, ga- 
rages, and auto repair establish- 
ments made their appearance. 
Several business men retired or 
sold out to younger aspirants. 
Fewer changes took place in 1918. 
However, one business man was 
forced to sell out — George 
Clark, who had a shoe and men's 
furnishings store, was drafted. 
At the same time, the war neces- 
sitated some curtailing of busi- 
ness. In accordance with the Fuel 
Administrator's order, the stores 
closed, to observe heatless Tues- 
day. Likewise the people were re- 
minded that Monday was meat- 
less day. The bakery offered 
"Victory Bread" for wheatless 
days. 

By 1919, due to orders from 
the state fire marshal, several 
old buildings were to be torn 
down, in some cases resulting in 
the removal of landmarks which 
had stood for many years. The 
firm of Schuh & Son purchased 
one of these, owned by Hudson 
Martin, and planned to erect a 
new one-story building, 33 by 60, 
of bricks veneer, as soon as the 
old one could be torn down. In 
1860 this building had been leas- 





FIRST PRIZE IN CALUTHUMPIAN PARADE— July 4th, 1913 

Daniel H. Siders, standing and Clell Baugh, driving 



COMPLIMENTS OF 



HOWARD HILL 

GOODYEAR and STANDARD 
DEALER 



I FEEL THANKFUL TO THE PEOPLE OF 

THIS COMMUNITY FOR THEIR 

PATRONA'GE FOR THE PAST 

60 YEARS 

Best Wishes for Bement's Future Years 

W. A. HAMMOND 

JEWELER 



BEMENT 



ILLINOIS 



Since 1939 



29 YEARS . . . 

This is a record for any Oil Distributor 
in Bement 

HOME OIL COMPANY 

ii 

Distributor SINCLAIR Products 

Congratulates 
Bement on Its 100th Birthday 



EDW. K AN ITZ 



ROY E . ALLEN 



ed for a wagon-making and black- 
smith shop by Charles Hubble 
and Mr. Bills. A few years later 
a Mr. Jackson leased if and he 
later transferred his lease to Mr. 
Martin. In 1872 Mr. Martin pur- 
chased the building, enlarged it 
greatly, and engaged in the im- 
plement and wagon building 
business extensively. About 1889 
he added a smaller building 
which he used for a buggy room. 
At times he employed seven men. 
It was said that there was more 
business done here than at any 
other place in town. (This build- 
ing was located where Dr. Speltz 
is now located.) 

Mr. Schuh, who was now pur- 
chasing this building, had been 
engaged in blacksmithing there 
for some 30 years. The other two 
buildings, which were to be torn 
down, were on the adjoining lot. 
Owned by Ralph Oyler, they had 
been constructed 38 years earlier 
by Simon Priestly and J. A. 
Force, the front being used for 
wagons, and the back one for a 
blacksmith shop. Mr. Force built 
and lived in the third house to be 
built in Bement. 

In 1922 the State built a paved 
highway through Bement. This 
opened the way for better trans- 
portation via the automobile and 
we find an increased emphasis 
upon the sale and service of auto- 
mobiles in Bement. Some of these 
were: Robertson's Garage, Be- 
ment Garage (dealer for the Es- 
sex, Hudson, Mormon, and Dort 
cars), Hill Brothers Garage, Be- 
ment Battery Station, Hubbell 
Garage, Gillespie and Grothe (re- 
pair), and* E. L. Campbell (Ford 



dealer). Four implement stores 
were ready to supply the farmer: 
S. M. Postlewait, Schuh & Son, 
A. J. Gulliford, and the Piatt 
County Supply Co. 

At this point in our "Town His- 
tory," we stop and pause and 
wonder just what should be said 
about the last 30 years in the his- 
tory of Bement. A great author- 
ity on the teaching of history 
once said: "Everyone knows what 
history is until he begins to think 
about it. After that, nobody 
knows." That is the feeling we 
have at this point — we don't 
know what should be said about 
the last 30 years. Many of the- 
events of our own times will sure- 
ly be forgotten in the next hun- 
dred years. Historians of the fu- 
ture will pick out and record 
events of our time which seem 





y§ 




'1 

f 

■»|l:-V 

wSm 







important to them, rather than 
those which now seem important 
to us. Historians have done this 
through the years. Events of the 
past take on different shape when 
they are viewed in the light of 
current happenings and affairs. 

In looking back, we find that 
Bement business during the last 
thirty or forty years reflects the 
national situation in regard to 
broad outlines. Underlying this, 
change if not growth, has been 
the economic status of Bement's 
citizens. Established primarily as 
a farming community, her busi- 
ness interests of necessity have 
catered to this primary market. 
And as the farmer's picture 
changed, so has the business sec- 
tion of Bement. 

That Bement business was in- 
exorably associated with the 



1855 -BEMENT- 1955 



N 



Congratulations . . . 
to ~My Jrome Uown 

100 YEARS OF PROGRESS- 
A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE! 

(rom 

\ 

S 

FIN'N 

SIRLOIN ROOM 

1701 N. Woodford Decatur, III. Phone 3-4241 

* DINE IN AIR-CONDITIONED COMFORT 

* WE SERVE ONLY TOP QUALITY AGED STEAKS 

* FRESH-FROM-THE-SEA SEAFOODS 

S&uaihg, filicflitly Iftam 5 jx. 4ft. ta 1 a. m. 

"JIM and SALLY NALLY" 




farmer is also suggested by the 
failure of the factory to become 
a permanent part of this picture 
— a failure not due to any lack 
in trying. Even though other cir- 
cumstances contributed to their 
absence, still the very fact of this 
absence is probably related in 
some way to Bement's being a 
farming community. 

Throughout the period under 
consideration, Bement business 
reflected the national picture 
with some few exceptions. Cur- 
tailment demanded by the war in 
1917 was soon terminated by a 
period of prosperity during the 
1920's. However, this prosperity 
in Bement continued until 1933, 
an exception to the national 
scene, where 1929 spelled disas- 
ter for many larger cities. During 
the depression here in Bement, 
our Forest Preserve Park, a 
dream of many for more than 
fifteen years, became a reality. 
This was done with the help of 
the W. P. A. in cooperation with 
the Piatt County Forest Preserve 
Park Board and a number of Be- 
ment business men. This project 
gave employment to people at a 
time when it was badly needed 
and Bement became the proud 
possessor of a beautiful park 
complete with a new pavilion. 
This property, part of which was 
the old Wabash reservoir, was 
covered with dense trees and 
brush. To this was added 10 acres 
on the west belonging to F. E. 
Shaw. Thursday, October 14, 
1937 marked the formal dedica- 
tion ceremony of the Bement For- 
est Preserve Park, the site now 
being used for the Bement Cen- 
tennial Town Meetings. 

Shortly after this, Bement bus- 
iness seemed well on the way to 
recovery and expansion which 
continued until the outbreak of 
World War II in 1941. Naturally, 
during the war, business activity 
was curtailed and few changes 
took place in Bement. Following 
the war, a natural increase in ac- 
tivity was once again witnessed. 
New business buildings were 
built, new homes and much re- 
modeling has been done with 
more in progress at this time. 

Bement had a set-back on De- 
cember 13, 1953 when they lost 
three business buildings by fire. 
They were the Bement Theater, 
Dare's Tavern, and a building oc- 
cupied by the Hadden Barber 
Shop and Flo Marie Wright's 
Beauty Shop. The fire burned 



furiously and for a time the Be- 
ment firemen were joined by the 
fire departments of Monticello, 
Atwood, Hammond, and Cerro 
Gordo in an effort to extinguish 
the flames and prevent the fire 
from spreading across the alley. 
They did succeed in preventing 
the fire from crossing the alley, 
but the three buildings mentioned 
were a complete loss. 

In closing this section we would 
like to mention a few of the busi- 
ness and professional men who 
have served this community for 
many years. The late Andrew 
Swenson, who was born in Swe- 
den, adopted this community as' 
his own and served it not only in 
a business way but also in other 
fields. In 1892, when he launched 
his business career in Bement, 
the business section could boast 
of few establishments. He saw 
new enterprises spring up and 
prosper, others start and die 
down, still others change hands. 
But he remained for over 50 
years. Carl R. Thompson has been 
active in the business affairs of 
Bement for over 50 years, and we 
have two doctors who "have been 
in Bement for over 50 years — 
Dr. W. G. McPherson and Dr. J. 
G. Bauer. The dean of all the 
present business men is Mr. W. A. 
Hammond who is still active on 
Main Street after 60 years in 
business. Dr. L. A. Pelton and Ed 
Bodman have both been active in 
the business life of Bement for 
over 40 years. 

Bement has come a long way 
in the past century, and judging 
from the cooperation and enthu- 
siasm shown by its citizens dur- 
ing this Centennial Celebration, 
we are very optimistic about its 
future. We may not be a big town 
but we certainly are making a 
good town in which to live. 



Early Administration of Justice 

About the time Bement was 
founded, there was a group of 
people in Piatt County and sur- 
rounding territory that organized 
a company for the purpose of ad- 
ministering justice in cases that 
the law could not well get hold 
of. Among themselves they were 
known as the "CALITHUMP- 
IANS." They were in organiza- 
tion for eight or ten years and 
'tis thought they did a good deal 
of good with tar and feathers; 
for while some were quite se- 
verely punished for misdeeds, 
others were afraid to do wrong. 



THE BEMENT REST HAVEN 
HOME 

The large house now occupied 
by the Rest Haven Home was 
built in 1869-70 by Albert Greg- 
ory of the firm of Fisher and 
Gregory, bankers in Bement. The 
Gregory's sold the house and 4 
acres to Mr. Wm. Camp in 1874. 
It is remembered by most as the 
old Camp house. 




In 1951 Mrs. Opril Baker, a 
trained practical nurse, secured 
this house and made plans for 
starting a Rest Haven in Be- 
ment. Open House was held on 
Sunday, October 21, 1951 and the 
home was opened for patients on 
the following Monday. The second 
floor was opened April 6, 1952. 
At the present time it is filled to 
capacity, 27 patients. The Rest 
Home employs 9 or 10 people to 
care for these patients. 



January 7, 1904 — E. A. Body 
and Sam Bodman and others are 
harvesting a crop of ice this week. 
The ice is about 12 inches thick 
and of good quality. 

Jan. 14, 1904 — Carl Thompson 
and his delivery sleigh with the 
sweet tones of sleigh bells have 
been the envy of "all the girls" 
the past week. 

May 5, 1904 — "Bement has 
had an anti-spit ordinance since 
Sept. 26, 1902, but you couldn't 
have told it from the appearance 
of the walks. — $2.00 fine per spit. 

May 12, 1904 — 212 Bement 
citizensHook an excursion via the 
Wabash to the University of Illi- 
nois. 

June 30, 1904 — There are 
more trains in and out of Bement 
on the Wabash than Decatur, and 
the Monticello time table resem- 
bles a flag station compared to 
ours. Sixty-six trains daily in 
and out of Bement that can^y 
passengers. 



CONGRATULATIONS BEMENT 

on Your 100th ANNIVERSARY 



from 



COUNTY OFFICIALS, 1955 




<f=5^E^ 








PIATT COUNTY OLD COURT HOUSE 
Picture taken about 1896 



PRESENT PIATT COUNTY COURTHOUSE 
Erected September 22, 1903 



B. E. MORGAN 

County Judge 

CARL I. GLASGOW 
States Attorney 

CHARLES SCOTT JOHNSON 

Circuit Clerk and Recorder 

VERA H. PERRY 

County Treasurer 

DWIGHT M. MACKEY 
Coroner 



HARRY E. BICKEL 

County Clerk 

FRANK WRENCH 

County Supt. of Schools 

TROY C. BENNETT 

County Sheriff 

J. ROBERT BOWER 

.County Supt. of Highways 

GROVER W. WATSON 

Judge of the Circuit Court 
Sixth Judicial Circuit 








Joseph Bodman 



F. E. Bryant 



J. O. Sparks 



George L. Spear 



S. K. Bodman 








Chester Schoolcraft Frank A. Jones 



John McNamee 



Wm. B. Fleming 



Horace Haldeman 







George M. Thompson 



W. G. Cloyd 




Charles Grant 



William Hughes Mrs. Ruth Patterson 



THE BEMENT POST OFFICE 

The Post Office at Bement, 
Illinois was established January 
23, 1856, with Joseph Bodman 
as postmaster. His successor 
was F. E. Br.yant, pioneer trades- 
man of Bement, who was ap- 
pointed July 7, 1857. Mr. Bry- 
ant's Successor was J. O. 
Sparks, grain dealer, who was 



appointed October 18, 1858, ana 
was succeeded by George L. 
Spear, who was appointed April 
20, 1861, under the administra- 
tion of President Lincoln. On 
October 6, 1865, Sereno K. Bod- 
man, a druggist and nephew of 
the first postmaster (Joseph 
Bodman) was appointed to suc- 
ceed Judge Spear and held the 



office until his successor, Ches- 
ter Schoolcraft, whose appoint- 
ment was made October 12, 1866, 
took charge of the office. Mr. 
Schoolcraft was succeeded by 
Sereno K. Bodman, who was the 
first 'come-back' occupant of the 
office, being reappointed March 
31, 1869, under the administra- 
tion of President Grant. On July 



Nearly a Century 
f Service! 



1860-1955 
95 Friendly Years 



Ninety-five years have elapsed since the original founding of 
the Millikin National Bank of Decatur in 1860. Bement was 
then five years old and Decatur was a young, progressive com- 
munity of 3800. 

During its long history, The Millikin .National Bank has pro- 
vided complete banking facilities and helpful credit to thou- 
sands of individuals and business firms in Decatur and Central 
Illinois. 

Today we congratulate our good neighbor — Bement — on 
its 100th birthday. 

May your Centennial celebration be a happy one! 



The Millikin National Bank 
of Decatur 

DECATUR'S OLDEST AND LARGEST BANK 



Member Federal Deposit Member Federal Founded 1860 

Insurance Corporation Reserve System by James Millikin 



1, 1884, the office was advanced 
to third class or presidential of- 
fice, and on July 4, 1884, Frank 
A. Jones was appointed to the 
office. Mr. Bodman retired after 
a continuous service of more 
than 15 years. Mr. Jones was 
succeeded by John McNamee, 
who was appointed by President 
Grover Cleveland, March 22, 
1887. Jones came back and suc- 
ceeded Mr. McNamee under ap- 
pointment by President Harri- 
son, July 1, 1891. Frank A. 
Jones, the first presidential ap- 
pointee, was a veteran of the 
Civil War, and was literally shot 
to pieces on the firing line. He 
was informed by a hospital sur- 
geon at one time that he had 
but a few hours to live, but Jones 
said he absolutely refused to die. 
At the close of the war in 1865 
he marched up the avenue in 
Washington, and fifty years af- 
terwards marched with the vet- 
erans over the same route dur- 
ing the national encampment of 
the G. A. R. in Washington, D. C. 
in 1915. 

William B. Fleming was the 
successor of Mr. Jones under ap- 
pointment made by President 
Cleveland, Jan. 23, 1896. Flem- 
ing was succeeded by Horace 
Haldeman, prominent in business 
and political activities of the 
community, who was appointed 
June 29, 1900, and was succeed- 
ed by George M. Thompson, who 
was named January 11, 1905. He 
was succeeded by W. G. Cloyd 
who was appointed by President 



Wilson, August 1, 1913. Charles 
Grant became acting postmaster 
in 1923 and later received his 
appointment as postmaster. He 
was succeeded by William 
Hughes, whose appointment was 
dated March 1, 1924. Following 
Mr. Hughes, Mr. J. N. Raglan 
was acting postmaster for one 
year before Mrs. Ruth Patterson, 
the present postmistress, re- 
ceived her appointment on Au- 
gust 20, 1934. 



MAYORS OF BEMENT 



QUOTES FROM BEMENT 
GAZETTE— JULY 9, 1887 

Quite a number of Bement's 
young folks enjoyed a moonlight 
picnic in the park last Wednesday 
evening. 

The greatest sight we saw out- 
side the calithumpian parade was 
a woman standing on her head 
swearing at the driver for letting 
the horse run away. 

Ye editor has been confined to 
his room the past week. He is not 
dangerously sick, but if you 
should offer him a seat without 
a cushion, you would hear "piles" 
of cuss words. 

Fizz, Bang, Boom, is the way 
the fourth was celebrated here in 
good old fashioned style. The 
boys commenced in the morning 
at 1 o'clock by ringing the bells 
and firing the anvils. The crowd 
commenced to come in very early 
and by eight o'clock the streets 
were pretty well filled, and at ten 
the calithumpian parade started 
out . . . 



Joseph Bodman 


1861-1863 


F. E. Bryant 


1863-1865 


W. L. Ryder 


1865 


Thos. T. Pettit 


1866 


D. C. W. Niles 


1867- 


Wm. M. Camp 


1868 


Joseph Bodman 


1869-1871 


Thos. Dunn 


1871 


W. A. Pierce 


1872 


H. A. Stark 


1873 


H. Martin 


1874 


Jas. S. Peairs 


1875 


E. Sweney 


1876 


T. T. Pettit 


1877-1878 


E. Sweney 


1879 


T. T. Pettit 


1880 


J. C. McCord 


1882 


Darius Vaughn 


1883 


W. S. Ruby 


1884 


G. B. Alvord 


1885 


C. H. Camp 


1886 


Joseph Hartman 


1887 


D. D. Kimmel 


1888 


Robert Fertig 


1889-1891 


C. F. Tenney 


1891-1892 


Robert Fertig 


1893-1896 


E. R. Sayler 


1896-1898 


J. T. Moore 


1898 


H. E. Shaw 


1899-1903 


J. F. Sprague 


1907-1909 


W. J. Day 


1909-1912 


J. F. Sprague 


1912-1919 


M. C. Camp 


1919-1923 


Daniel Hall 


1923-1926 


J. F. Sprague 


1926-1929 


J. W. B. Stewart 


1929-1931 


E. E. Logan 


1931-1945 


Edward Kanitz 


1945-1949 


Carl J. Edwards 


1949-1953 


Lynn Crook 


1953-1957 




1955— BEMENT BOARD OF TRUSTEES 

Seated from the left: Dan Siders (Village Treasurer), Bryan Wilson (Village At- 
torney), Lynn Crook (Mayor), and Carl Thompson (Village Clerk for 33 years). 

Standing from the left: Board Members— Ralph Mintun, Walter Miller, Harry Hixon, 
F. E. Lincicum, Ralph Siders Jr., and Keith Bell. 




CONGRATULATIONS 
BEMENT 

on your 100 YEARS of Achievements 

CITIZENS GAS COMPANY 



— Use GAS - The Ideal Fuel — 



THE PRESS 

Bement's first newspaper, The 
Bement Union, was established 
in April of 1860, by James Shoaff 
of Decatur and Mr. Outten of 
Monticello. Mr. Shoaff was the 
editor of the paper which was 
published in the warehouse of 
Freese and Go. He advocate! 
the removal of the county seat 
to Bement. At the time, he cre- 
ated a great deal of interest and 
it became a topic of general dis- 
cussion. Of course it did not 
succeed, but he did succeed in 
getting the county organized 
into Townships under the control 
of a Board of Supervisors. Mr. 
Shoaff made his editorial fare- 
well in the paper of April 18, 
1861, and enlisted in the army. 
Mr. Sanches became the editor 
and publisher, but within a few 
months the paper was discontin- 
ued. From then until 1878 a suc- 
cession of editors made their ap- 
pearance. All retired from the 
business in short order, with 
most of them leaving an unfavor- 
able impression upon the com- 
munity. This may be divined by 
the following excerpts from a 55 
page history of Bement written 
by George L. Spear, father of 
Elmer E. Spear, of Bement, and 
published in 1878. (Mr. Spear 
was appointed postmaster in 
1869, elected police magistrate 
in 1863, served as Justice of the 
Peace for 18 years and was also 
County Judge. His history, writ- 
ten in original style with humor- 
ous expressions, is delightful to 
read.) 

"Some years after the suspen- 
sion of the Bement Union, one 
John Smith appears above the 
horizon, a shining opaque, and 
began the publishing of a news- 
paper, using the old Union press. 
Johnny didn't stay long, but he 
staid long enough to teach the 
people here that publishers of 
newspapers are not all angels." 
"Immediately succeeding him was 
that traveling comet, John S. 
Harper, who also left a sooty 
mark upon the walls WTien he 
too, scooted with his booty." 
Speaking of John Harper, we 
now quote from an article found 
in the Monticello Independent 
newspaper at the time — "Editor 
J. S. Harper, the humorous, rest- 
less owner of numerous newspa- 
pers, late of the Homer Journal, 
Sidney Sentinel, Tolono Citizen, 
Fairmount Republican, Philo Her- 
ald, Sucker State Journal, and 




PICTURE OF OLD BEMENT REGISTER OFFICE 

Reading from left to right: Wesley Smith, Roy E. Cartwright (Editor,) Gertrude 
Duncan, May Booker. 



The Bement Register, walked 
from Bement to Monticello last 
Friday, with the thermometer at 
92 degrees, in fifty-five minutes. 
He may not be a success as an 
editor, but surely is as a hoofer." 
He moved from Bement to Farm- 
er City where he was the editor 
of the Farmer City Bugle." Quot- 
ing again from Mr. Spear: "After 
Harper left, next came Jacobs 
who for a while succeeded well, 
but suddenly came to the con- 
clusion that all work and no cro- 
quet makes Jake a dull boy and 
finally succumbed to an over- 
whelming wave of ennui. Con- 
ners came in on the heels of Ja- 
cobs, staid awhile and came to 
the conclusion that the Lord had 
work for him in Jericho, so he 
went to pulpit labor." 

On the first day of January 
1878, Mr. Ben Biddlecome issued 
the first issue of "The Independ- 
ent". This paper was begun un- 
der unfavorable circumstances, 
but for several years made its 
way quite well. The Independ- 
ent was followed by The Bement 
Gazette, published by F. E. Bills. 
The Bement Gazette was next 
started by J. I. Chilson who later 
sold out to Eli Drum. 

The Bement Reveille was start- 
ed in 1889. The early newspa- 
papers were usually an eight page 
paper, however four of these 
pages were ready-print. Two 
pages of this, devoted to national 
and international news, seemed 



to constitute the extent to which 
they lived up to their motto, "All 
the news, all the time." The re- 
maining two pages of ready-print 
were devoted to a continued 
story, a fashion column, patent 
medicine advertisements, etc. 

The present newspaper — The 
Bement Register, made its first 
appearance in 1890 with M. O. 
Curry & Co. as publishers and 
is now in its 65th year of con- 
tinuous publication. When it 
started in 1890, the office was 
located upstairs over a building 
two doors south of the present 
location of Hill's Cafe. The of- 
fice has been in its present loca- 
tion since 1896 or '97. Mr. Curry 
served as editor from the start 
in 1890 until 1905 when Roy E. 
Cartwright took over. The pre- 
sent editor, Verne Purcell, has 
edited the paper since 1943 and 
has owned it since 1946. 



May 20, 1909— Dr. W. G. Mc- 
Pherson received his new Mitchell 
Roadster Tuesday. It is a hand- 
some machine and runs easily 
and with practically no noise. 

February 23, 1905 — Watchman 
George Lee and His Flowers . . . 
George Lee and his wife came to 
Bement from Yorkshire, England 
in 1881. He took great pride in 
converting the dismal grounds in 
the vicinity of his shanty into a 
picture of loveliness with flow- 
ers. 



Compliments of 

THE mm REGISTER 

(ESTABLISHED 1890) 
VERNE PURCELL 

(Publisher Since 1943) 
LEONE PURCELL VERNE P. DUST 

EDNA L. MOORE LEONA C. HOLLOWAY 

LUCILLE PURCELL CHESTINE PEIFER 

ALVIN DUST 




"Some weeks I don't know who is 
running this paper." 



CONGRATULATIONS BEMENT ON fOUR 
100TH BIRTHDAY 

DYE 

Radio and Electric Service 

BEMENT, ILLINOIS PHONE 2951 

"Serving ths Community for a quarter century ..." 



Inside . . . Outside ... All Around the House 

VIRDEN LIGHTING FIXTURES 

Puts Good Lighting Within Your Reach 



THE DRAINAGE OF 
LAKE FORK— 1882-87 

A ridge running across the 
northwestern corner of Bement 
Township causes the land there 
to be a great deal higher than it 
is in the southern and eastern 
part of the township. In fact the 
lowness of the land in the south- 
ern and eastern part debarred 
settlement therein for a number 
of years until proper measures 
were taken to drain the land with 
tile and drainage ditches. The ex- 
treme northwestern portion of 
the township drains toward the 
Sangamon River, while all the 
rest of the township is drained 
by the Lake Fork branch of the 
Okaw River, which comes into 
the township in its north-eastern 
section, runs southward, leaving 
the township about the middle of 
its southern boundary line. The 
fall of the stream was very slight. 
After the rainy season the banks 
would overrun, and then for days 
and weeks the stream, through 
miles of its course, had the ap- 
pearance of a lake or swamp ; and 
because of its slowness in dis- 
charging its water, we suppose, 
the stream was called Lake Fork. 
The land was the rich black loam, 
but was not very valuable, be- 
cause it would overflow, and a 
crop was by no means sure. To- 
day with proper drainage, this 
land that was once useless is 
some of the most valuable in the 
United States for farming. 

The early settlers soon came to 
realize that something must be 





done about draining this land if 
it were to be farmed successfully. 
The question of forming a drain- 
age district under the State Law 
was submitted to a vote of the 
people and the question carried. 
On the 7th day of October, 1882, 
an election was held in the Con- 
cord Schoolhouse for the purpose 
of electing the drainage commis- 
sioners. Alfred Jay, Samuel L. 
Busick, and Anthony Clark were 
elected as the first commission- 
ers. They now had the arduous 
job of viewing the land and de- 
termining the benefits and 
amount of assessment for each 
property owner. 



m r± 







Anthony Clark 



Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Busick 

The owners whose land was 
furtherest from the proposed 
dredge ditch and who had some 
natural drainage objected to pay- 
ing for the drainage of the land 
through which the ditch passed. 
Tempers flared and threats were 
made to the commissioners and 
their families. It became so ser- 
ious that the commissioners had 
to carry guns to protect them- 
selves and their families. Objec- 
tions were filed and cases fought 
out in court. However, the com- 
missioners were firm in their con- 
victions that if they didn't see 
the job through, their children 
would have to. It was very evi- 



dent to these far-sighted men 
that before this part of the world 
would ever amount to much, 
there must be drainage and 
roads. 

On September 21, 1883, C. D. 
Moore, County Surveyor, was 
employed to survey the proposed 
drainage ditch and prepare a plat 
and profile. This was done that 
fall and submitted to the com- 
missioners at a meeting held 
March 1, 1884. The original ditch 
was to extend from the line north 
of the SE x /4 of section 36, town- 
ship 18 North, Range 6; east to 
the Crane Bridge, a distance of 
eleven miles. The plat was ap- 
proved, and it was decided to ad- 
vertise for bids to be opened 
March 31, 1884. No bids were 
submitted and nothing was done 
until September 20, 1884, when 
they again advertised for bids 
which were to be received and 
contract let October 16, 1884. The 
contract was not let until the 
next spring however. Active work 
was begun in the summer of 
1885. The work continued all 
summer and fall and all the next 
year until in November, 1886, 
they reached the Moore Grave- 
yard in Unity Township. On the 
second day of February, 1887, 
the dredge boat was burned. The 
ditch, however, had been com- 
pleted as far as the original ditch 
extended. In all, over two hun- 
dred thousand cubic yards of dirt 
had been removed. As the ditch 
had been completed within the 
time allowed, the price paid for 
the work was 13 M> cents per cu- 
bic yard, and the ditch had cost 
in the neighborhood of thirty 
thousand dollars. 

As time passed a number of 
lateral ditches were put in and 
hundreds of miles of field tile 
were laid. The Village of Bement 
purchased perpetual rights to 
drain into one of these laterals. 



WELCOME TO 



WEST END 

TAVERN 



Just East of Wabash Depot 



BEMENT, ILLINOIS 



FINE FOODS -MICHELOB ON TAP 



RAY AND THERESE MATTINGLY 




MARATHON 




GASOLINE 

V. E. P. 
MOTOR OIL 



J. ROY JORDAN 
Phone 2501 Dement 

THE OHIO OIL COMPANY 



The rich black loam rid of its 
surplus of brackish water, be- 
came some of the richest and 
most productive land in the 
world. Yields of 90-100 bushels of 
corn to the acre are not uncom- 
mon. The great yield of grain 
caused the value of the land to 
increase many fold. In 1882, the 
year the dredging plans started, 
land sold for $35. per acre. By 
1900 the value had risen to $150. 
During World War I, it increased 
to $400., and at the present time 
it is selling for over $500. per 
acre. 



LINCOLN & DOUGLAS 
IN BEMENT 

The Francis E. Bryant Cottage 
in Bement has been described as 
the second most important Lin- 
coln Shrine in the United States. 
It holds this peculiar position in 
history because here two of Illi- 
nois' great men, Abraham Lincoln 
and Stephen A. Douglas, dis- 
cussed and agreed to their fa- 
mous series of joint debates. 
These debates focused national 
attention on Abraham Lincoln 
and led to his election as Presi- 
dent of the United States. 

In 1858, Illinois witnessed one 
of its hottest political campaigns. 
Democratic Senator Douglas was 
running for re-election and was 
opposed by Lincoln. Douglas 
was only 5'4" tall and just about 
as broad. They called him "The 
Little Giant." Lincoln was 6'4" 
tall and weighed 200 lbs. — a 
tall gaunt figure of a man. His 
friends called him "Honest Abe" 
or "Old Abe" although he was 
only 49 at the time. Douglas 
said of. him, "Of all the dammed 
Whig rascals about Springfield, 
Abe Lincoln is the ablest and 
most honest." 

The issue was clearly defined. 
Lincoln, in accepting the Repub- 
lican Senatorial Nomination on 
June 16, 1858, in Springfield, had 
declared: "A house divided 
against itself cannot stand. I 
believe this government cannot 
endure permanently half slave 
and half free. I do not expect 
the House to fall, but I do ex- 
pect that it will cease to be di- 
vided. It will become all one 
thing, or all the other." 

One of the Republican leaders 
said it was a "dammed fool ut- 
terance"; another held the doc- 
trine too much "ahead of its 
time." Lincoln's law partner, 



Billy Herdon, urged: "Lincoln, 
deliver that speech . . . and it 
will make you president." 

On July 22, 1858, Lincoln 
wrote a letter to Douglas chal- 
lenging him to a series of de- 
bates. Douglas was reluctant to 
accept. He told his friends: "I 
do not feel, between you and me, 
that I want to go into this de- 
bate. The whole country knows 
me and has me measured. Lin- 
coln, as regards myself, is com- 
paratively unknown, and if he 
gets the best of this debate, — 
and I wa*it to say he is the ablest 
man the Republicans have got, 
— I shall lose everything and 
Lincoln will gain everything. 
Should I win, I shall gain but 
little. I do not want to go into 
debate with Abe." 

Both Lincoln and Douglas had 
speaking engagements in Monti- 
cello, the Piatt County Seat, on 
July 29, 1858. Emma Piatt, in 
her history of Piatt County 
(1883) says a magnificent dis- 
play was made by the throngs 
of people, consisting of delega- 
tions from Champaign and De- 
witt Counties, as well as Piatt, 
which met Lincoln as he came 
from Bement. Monticello had 
no railroad at that time and tra- 
velers to the county seat got off 
the Chicago, Great Western at Be- 
ment, and journeyed to Monti- 
cello by horseback or stage. 

Douglas who was to speak in 
Monticello that afternoon, July 
29, was staying at the home of 
his intimate friend, F. E. Bryant, 
in Bement. Bryant had become 
acquainted with Senator Douglas 
several years prior to moving to 




Carleton Smith with Senator Alexan- 
der Wiley, as they visit at the Bryant 
Cottage in Bement. They are shown 
inspecting the chair that Abraham 
Lincoln sat in on the evening of Julv 
29, 1858. 



Bement when Bryant represent- 
ed Schuyler County in the state 
legislature in 1852. The ac- 
quaintance ripened into a firm 
friendship. And so, in July 1858, 
when it was known that Douglas 
was to speak in Monticello, Mr. 
and Mrs. Bryant invited Sen. 
Douglas and his wife to be their 
guests. They came the day be- 
fore and on July 29, with the 
host and hostess, drove to Mon- 
ticello in a carriage for the 
speaking. Upon returning, when 
a mile out of Monticello, they 
met Abraham Lincoln riding in 




THE PIATT COUNTY BAR HONORS ITSELF IN THUS 

HONORING THOSE WHO HAVE FORMERLY 

PRACTICED LAW BEFORE THIS BAR 



ABRAHAM LINCOLN 

THOMAS MILLIGAN 

HAMILTON C. McCOMAS 

CHARLES WATTS 

ALEXANDER G. BOYER 

ALONZOT. PIPHER 

ALBERT EMERSON 

J. F. LINCOLN 

FRANK PITTMAN 

WILLIAM E. LODGE 

DAVID McWILLIAMS 

ERNEST A. BARRINGER 

MARION R. DAVIDSON 



WILLIAM G. CLOYD. 

HARVEY HUSTON 

CHARLES HUGHES 

CHARLES F. MANSFIELD 

ALBERT C. EDIE 

F. M. SHONKWILER 

JAMES L. HICKS 

PETER A. HAMILTON 

SAMUEL R. REED 

CARL S. REED 

CHARLES W. FIRKE 

THOMAS J. KASTEL 

ELIM J. HAWBAKER 




(Left to right: Delmor Durbin. 
Clark Plummer, Robert Kimery 



CONGRATULATIONS NEIGHBORS, FRIENDS and CUSTOMERS 

PLUMMERS SINCLAIR SERVICE 



CLARK PLUMMER — BEMENT, ILLINOIS — DELMAR DURBIN 



a prairie schooner. The meeting 
was purely accidental. Tradition 
has it that the prairie schooner 
had broken a doubletree while 
crossing over a ditch and they 
were waiting for repairs. A con- 
crete pyramid marks the spot of 
the meeting and the ditch can 
still be located nearby. 

Sen. Douglas remarked that he 
wanted to speak to Lincoln, the 
carriage was stopped, and Lin- 
coln came to its side and talked 
to Douglas. There on the high- 
way, arrangements were made to 
meet in Bement that night, and 
at Mr. Bryant's invitation his 
home was selected as the meet- 
ing place. Mr. Lincoln went on 
to Monticello to speak, and late 
that evening returned to Bement. 
There, in a tiny parlor of the 
Bryant cottage, a two hour con- 
ference was held with Mr. Bry- 
ant as the third party. Plans 
for the debates were completed 
and Lincoln caught the midnight 
train from Bement to Spring- 
field. 

Debates were held at: Ottawa, 
Freeport, Jonesboro, Charleston, 
Galesburg, Quincy and Alton. 

Mr. Bryant was confident that 
one of the two men would be 
the next president, and he 
marked the chairs in which each 
sat. When news of the assassin- 
ation of Lincoln came, he pinned 
crepe and a small flag to the 
Lincoln chair. 

It has been said that the 
agreement to debate made by 
Lincoln and Douglas in their two 
hour conference at the Bryant 
Cottage in Bement, probably 
changed the whole course of 
American History, for while 
Douglas won the race for the 
Senate, the ultimate result of the 
debates was the splitting of the 
Democratic Party and the elec- 
tion of Lincoln to the presidency 
two years later. 

It is a long way from the hum- 
ble Bryant Cottage to the White 
House, but it serves as the set- 
ting for one of the great scenes 
in Abraham Lincoln's "Prologue 
to Glory." 

J. F. Sprague, grandson of F. 
E. Bryant, preserved the cottage 
as a, Lincoln-Douglas Shrine, re- 
storing the parlor to its original 
appearance and using the same 
furniture that was in the room 
when Lincoln and Douglas held 
their history-making conference. 
On July 29, 1925, Mr. Sprague, 
then Mayor of Bement, formally 



dedicated and presented to the 
community the house in which 
his gfandparents lived. In 1947, 
Mrs. Sprague, his widow, and 
son Bryant, conveyed the prop- 
erty to the State of Illinois as 
a permanent shrine. 



BANK OF BEMENT 

Milmine and Bodman were the 
first bankers of Bement. Freeze 
and Co. followed this firm and 
were succeeded by Fisher & Gre- 
gory; F. E. Bryant; then Byrant 
and Bodman, and then back to 
F. E. Bryant. Finally, Jan. 2 1888 
the Farmers and Merchants 
Bank took charge of the banking 
business of Bement under the 
name of Bower Bros, and Camp. 
About ten years later this firm 
was succeeded by the First Na- 
tional Bank with W. M. Camp as 
president. About this same time 
the H. L. Timmons Co. Bank was 
started in the building now oc- 
cupied by Dr. William Scott. H. 
L. Timmons Co. was succeeded 
by the State Bank of Bement in 
1914, with H. E. Shaw as presi- 
dent. In 1929 the State Bank ab- 
sorbed the First National Bank 
and moved to the present loca- 
tion in 1930. 

The State Bank has grown 
progressively since that time, and 
the last two years they have at- 
tracted considerable interest by 
instituting a Farm Service De- 
partment (not usually offered in 
a community of this size) with a 
full time Farm Representative, 
Mr. L. A. Hodam. Mr. Hodam 
had been the Agriculture teacher 
at Bement High School for 24 
years prior to joining the bank. 
Mr. Lew Wilkinson is the Presi- 
dent of the State Bank; Mr. Geo. 
Wilkinson, Vice President; John 
Hardimon, Cashier; and James 
Raglan, Assistant Cashier. 



BEMENT CEMETERY 

The first cemetery site was at 
the northeast edge of town. How- 
ever, because of the objections 
raised, this site was never used. 

The beautiful grounds located 
one and one-half miles north of 
town were purchased by a com- 
mittee consisting of A. G. Greg- 
ory, J. M. Camp, and Dr. J. H. 
Leal, appointed by authority of 
the town meeting of April 3, 
1866. They purchased the land 
from T. B. Hale for the sum of 
$700. During that year it was 
platted into burial lots, alleys and 
drives. In 1938 it became neces- 
sary to enlarge the cemetery and 
eight and three-fourths acres 
were purchased from A. T. and 
Nellie McPherson. Mr. Elmer 
Spear, Mr. Byron Dyarman, and 
Mr. Stanley Hammond were 
members of the Board of Trus- 
tees of the Cemetery at that time. 
Mr. Stanley Hammond's father 
(Mr. W. W. Hammond a nursery- 
man in Bement) had been a mem- 
ber of the board a number of 
years before. After much thought 
and care this new addition was 
beautifully landscaped. 

"I think that I shall never see 
a poem as lovely as a tree ..." 

"A tree that looks to God all 
day ..." Those must have been 
the thoughts of those men as 
they planted all the trees which 
today furnish a living monument 
to those who have gone on before 
us. 

The Board of Trustees for the 
Cemetery at this time are: 

Francis R-yan, Ralph Wright, 
and Elmer Spear. Mrs. Stanley 
Hammond is the Secretary and 
Treasurer. 




Reading from left to right: E. Bruce Sprague, Ray Siders, H. E. Shaw, and 
Edward Sprague. 



CONGRATULATIONS 

BEMENT 

ON YOUR 100 YEARS OF PROGRESS 

MEADOW GOLD PRODUCTS 

Milk - Ice Cream - Butter 

BEATRICE FOODS COMPANY 
Champaign, Illinois 



Williamson Warm Air Furnaces 

OIL — GAS — COAL 

AIR CONDITIONING 

Engineering Service — We Do It Right 



HOME AND 
COMMERCIAL 



KOHLER PLUMBING FIXTURES 

U. S. BOILERS 

WARREN - WEBSTER BASEBOARD HEATING 

GASKILL PLUMBING & HEATING 

PHONE — MONTICELLO 2167 — 24 HOUR SERVICE 



UTILITIES 

LIGHTS 

Bement can boast of being the 
first town in Piatt County to 
have a system of electric light- 
ing. In 1890, A. S. Burr, promi- 
nent Bement landowner and civic 
leader, who already had the new- 
fangled system of lighting at his 
farm home south of town, or- 
ganized the Bement Electric 
Light and Power Company to pro- 
vide service for the community. 

Articles of Corporation were 
issued on January 30, 1891 with 
the following men as stockhold- 
ers: A. S. Burr, H. Haldeman, H. 
S. Bower, J. Benson, W. J. Day, 
W. T. Bower, and Wm. M. Camp. 
The Royal Electric Company 
placed the plant in operation 
March 24, 1891 with W. J. Day 
as the first manager. 

This first plant with power 
enough to light 300 lights was 
installed at the Haldeman Mill 
where they could use the steam 
boilers during the evenings when 
they weren't being used by the 
mill. In the early days of the 
company the plant was operated 
only from dark until about 10:30 
in the evening. It was many years 
before electric service was placed 
on the 24 hour schedule that we 
have today. (Shortly after World 
War I.) 

In 1896 they built their own 
power house on West Wilson 
Avenue, just north of the hotel 
(The Bement House). This plant 
was large enough to supply elec- 
tricity for 800 lights. 

Electric street lights were in- 
stalled in Bement in the early 
1900's and operated on a "Moon- 
light Schedule," if the moon was 
supposed to shine, no street 
lights were turned on. Later, a 
clause was inserted in the street 
light ordinance providing that 
"sufficient current be furnished 
to operate such street lights dur- 
ing such hours on dark and 
cloudy nights as the moon may 
be obscured by clouds even 
though such hours are hours 
during which the lights are not 
due to burn according to the 
'Standard Moonlight All Night 
Schedule.' " 

! When the Illinois Traction 
Company built their transmission 
line through town, power was 
purchased from them. The 6600 
volt transmission line was built 




Old Power Plant on West Wilson Street 



to Ivesdale and in 1925 the com- 
pany served approximately 487 
customers. The At wood Electric 
Light and Power Company also 
purchased power at Bement with 
a line built from Bement to Ham- 
mond and Garrett. From this line 
a total of 350 customers was 
served. 

In 1925 the Bement and At- 
wood Companies were purchased 
by Central Public Service Com- 
pany. This company later became 
a part of the Central Illinois Elec- 
tric and Gas Co., an Illinois Cor- 
poration. It is a business-man- 
aged utility with its home office 
in Rockford. 

The Bement District is an im- 



portant part of the Lincoln Di- 
vision of Central Illinois Electric 
and Gas Company serving a total 
of 1705 customers in this district 
as of this date. Approximately 
250 of these are rural customers, 
the balance being residential, 
commercial and power. Towns 
served in the Bement District in- 
clude Bement, Ivesdale, Ham- 
mond, Atwood, Pierson Station, 
Garrett, and the surrounding 
rural areas. 

The present Bement District 
employees are R. N. Holloway, 
manager; Ray Robbins and 
Frank Yeates, electric service- 
men; and Miss Helen Phimmer, 
office clerk. 




^Te4... 7nt /t*t OU PioKcen, 7«*/ 



Maybe I wasn't around when Bement was found- 
ed a century ago but believe me, since I got here 
in 1891, I have been in there pitching and have 
watched with pride as the village grew to a town 
and the town grew to the beautiful little city of 
today. 




Now, at the start of your second century, 
my company, the CENTRAL ILLINOIS ELEC- 
TRIC AND GAS CO., has great faith in the 
continued expansion and growth of your 
progressive community. As evidence of this 
confidence, they have spent some one hun- 
dred thousand of dollars in recent months to 
provide additional capacity for your ever in- 
creasing needs. 



Every day, new uses for my services are 
being found which, added to the multitude 
of things I now do to make your homes Hap- 
pier, Healthier and Safer, make it necessary 
for me to grow as you grow. My company 
accepts this challenge and pledges itself not 
only to meet . . . but to keep ahead of this 
demand. 



The past century has brought many changes — no one knows what 
the future holds but our policy will always be to Plan-Work and Build 
with your Community. 



We are proud to have a part in your 
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION 



Vv&cLdU-v 



Your EVER-READY Servant 



WATER 

The Village Board of Trustees 
passed an ordinance for the con- 
struction of a waterworks in Be- 
ment during the year of 1894. 
This called for a Bond Issue of 
$7000. Later $1000. of this Bond 
Issue was recalled, leaving $6000. 
for the construction of the sys- 




tem. The old brick water tower 
and pump house were built in 
1895 and about 20 blocks of wa- 
ter mains were laid. This water 
plant was installed by the Fair- 
banks-Morse people. The capacity 
of the stand pipe was 60,000 gal- 
lons while the reservoir contained 
40,000 gallons more. 

James Fairbanks helped lay 
the bricks for the old water 
tower and pump house and 
some .years later helped tear 
it down. He was also the 
contractor for most of Bement's 
concrete sidewalks as well as 
many other masonry buildings 
around town. Mr. Fairbanks, who 
was born in London, England, 
April 25th, 1871, came to Amer- 
ica when he was 5 weeks old. His 
family moved to Bement in 1883, 
and he has lived here ever since. 

Mr. C. M. Smith, an employee 
of the Fairbanks-Morse Company 
during the construction, married 
a Bement girl and remained ill 
Bement as the first engineer for 
the Village Water Works. The or- 
iginal plant was run with steam 
power. Later they converted to 
electricity and during the years, 
two major additions were made 
to the water mains. The well now 
in use was dug in 1937. The Vil- 
lage Board has recently made ar- 
rangements for the purchase of 
the Wabash well which will pro- 
vide Bement with a more depend- 
able water supply. 



TELEPHONE 

During the early history of Be- 
ment there was only one tele- 
phone in town which was in- 
stalled in Bodman's Drug Store. 
The phone was connected with 
Decatur. 

The first telephone line through 
Piatt County was a toll line of 
the Central Union Telephone Co. 
with phones at Cerro Gordo, Mil- 
mine, Bement, Monticello, and 
White Heath. This toll line was 
finished about 1880. In 1899, the 
Piatt County Telephone Co. was 
organized by Wm. Lodge of Mon- 
ticello. This company later had 
exchanges at Monticello, Bement, 
and Deland with connections to 
the Central Union and American 
Telephone and Telegraph Com- 
panies. 

In 1928 the Bement Telephone 
Exchange was purchased by the 
Illinois Commercial Telephone 




William Drennan, manager of the lo- 
cal exchange explains some of the 
new dial equipment to Keith Bell, Vil- 
lage Board member. Shown at the 
right are the batteries which furnish 
the power for the phones when the 
lights are off. 




Acting Mayor of Bement, Ralph Mintun places the first call on the new dial 
phones placed in operation in Bement about 3 p.m. on the afternoon of June 
14th, 1955. Standing behind him from left to right are Village Board members — 
Harry Hixon, Carl Thompson (Village Clerk), and Keith Bell. Next is R. N. 
Kolloway, Vice Chairman of the Bement Centennial Corp. and William Drennan, 
exchange manager. 




Bement phone operators during their last afternoon at the old switch-board. 
Reading from left to right: Mrs. Ruby Thornton, Mrs. Dorothy Meece, Mrs. Betty 
Gallagher, and Mrs. Elma Spearman (Chief operator since 1950.) Other opera- 
tors not shown in the picture are: Mrs. Loretta McGee, Mrs. Margery Dial, and 
Mrs. Peggy Smith. 



CONGRATULATIONS 
VILLAGE OF BEMENT 
ON YOUR CENTENNIAL 




J. F. Nells, Supt. 
J. J. Clodfelter 
Roy B. Veech 
Fred Alexander 
C. B. Deering 
R. J. Shonkwiler 
Geo. O. Halterman 
Keith Wildman 
Warren Perkins 
Sam Halterman 
Edward Brown 
R. E. Noblitt 
Marion Pierce 
William Dawson 
Raymond Dick 
Fred C. Klump 
J. L. Hord 
Charles Gallager 



Joe C. Defore 

Bryant P. Sprague 

J. G. Hannah 

N. P. Kelly 

Herbert Schuh 

George Lash 

Jos. R. Pierce 

Harvey Shirley 

L. D. Pitts 

J. W. McLaughlin D. of E. 

E. E. Schaal * 

R. C. Miles 

T. H. Ritter 

L. A. Eaton 

C. W. Gardner 

Donovan Wildman 

E. G. Shepherd 

Clyde Halterman 



John Strohl 
Carl W. McCullough 
Linzy Corum 
W. J. Bialeski 
Simeon Royal 
W. C. Welch 
H. A. Malohn 
Robert Gallager 
Leslie Durbin 
Henry E. High 
Harley Trent 
J. B. Arnold 
James Root 
Roy Slagle 
Robert C. Miller 
P. M. Scott 
Henry Bohn 
Ralph Van Vleet 



WABASH EMPLOYEES 




Co., now known as the General 
Telephone Co. of Illinois. 

Conversion to the dial system 
was started last October (1954). 
Since then 625 dial telephones 
serving 570 subscribers have 
been installed and a new build- 
ing erected on West William 
Street to house the automatic 
exchange. The first phone call 
on the new dial phones was made 
by Ralph Mintun, acting Mayo" 
of Bement about 3 p.m. on June 
14, 1955. 



BEMENT FIRE 
PROTECTION DISTRICT 

Bement Fire Protection Dis- 
trict is a public corporation or- 
ganized and operating under the 
Laws of Illinois. The District was 
organized and created as a corp- 
oration by order of the County 
Judge of Piatt County on March 
23, 1946, the first Fire Protection 
District organized in Piatt Coun- 
ty. The District comprises ap- 
proximately 82 sections of land 
with Bement almost in the cen- 
ter and Milmine in the western 
edge. Practically all the boundary 
lines run along the quarter sec- 
tion lines instead of along the 
section line roads to keep from 
having farm houses on one side 
of the road within the District 
and farm houses just across the 
road outside the District. 

The District is governed by 
three Trustees who are appointed 
by the Judge of the County Court 
for terms of three years each, 
and the terms are staggered, one 
Trustee being appointed each 
year. Only one of the Trustees 
may be appointed from the Vil- 
lage of Bement. The Trustees 
are under bond, as is the Treas- 
urer. The District has had only 
four Trustees. The first board 
consisted of John J. Glennon, 
Clarence Lefever and William J. 
Henebry. Henebry moved from 
the District and on September 7, 
1948, his resignation was ac- 
cepted and Roy E. Allen was ap- 
pointed to fill the vacancy. Glen- 
non, Lefever and Allen have been 
reappointed from time to time 
and are the present Trustees. H. 
E. Slusser has been the Treasurer 
since the organization of the Dis- 
trict and Bryan Wilson has serv- 
ed as Counsel from the begin- 
ning. Anna Mary Wrench is now 
assistant secretary. Joe Ritten- 
house has been Fire Chief since 
the organization. The present 




FIRE TRUCKS OF BEMENT FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT 



Assistant Fire Chief is Allen C. 
Mardis. Either the Chief or the 
Assistant Chief is on duty at all 
times. Other Assistant Chiefs 
were J. E. Crim, J. L. Ater and 
Demar L. Bentley. 

Shortly after the organization 
of the District, the fire fighting 
equipment owned by the Village 
of Bement was sold to the Dis- 
trict for $1.00. A bond issue was 
voted and $20,000.00 in bonds 
sold to State Bank of Bement. 
With the proceeds the District 
bought a building and remodeled 
it for a fire house and bought 
up to date modern fire fighting 
equipment. Additional equipment 
has been bought from time to 
time and at present the District 
has two modern pumpers which 
are kept at the fire house in 
Bement, and two auxiliary units 
which are kept at Milmine, at 
which place the District built two 
reservoirs. In June, 1955, the Dis- 
trict bought from the Wabash 
Railroad Company the 100,000 
gallon steel tank which the rail- 
road had used to water locomo- 
tives before it changed to Diesels. 
With the tank belonging to the 
District, the supply of water to 
fight fire is now ample. 

In addition to the Trustees, the 
Chief and Assistant Chief, the 
District is operated by voluntary 
firemen, the present list including 
— at Bement: Hamman Adams, 
Keith Bell, Lee Barnhart, Robert 
Brittenham, Lynn Crook, James 
E. Crim, Kenneth Fisher, Ed- 
ward Fritz, Ernest McCullough, 
Ralph Mintun, Lester R. Proctor, 
Clark Plummer, Ray Robbins, Bill 
Slagle, Clifford Wilcox and Frank 
Yeates ; and at Milmine : Clarence 
Lefever, Gaylord Hendrix, Scott 
Sutphen, Joseph Blickman, Har- 



rison Depew, Milton Lammle, 
Ronald Taylor, William Horath, 
William Durbin, and Rev. Orley 
Gray. 

The District is rated as Class 
A by the Illinois Inspection Bur- 
eau, which entitles it to receive 
the tax on fire insurance com- 
panies which are not organized 
under the Laws of the State of 
Illinois. This tax amounts to two 
(2%) per cent, of the gross re- 
ceipts received from fire insur- 
ance upon property situated with- 
in the District. The rating also 
caused the lowering of rates on 
fire insurance. 



WABASH RAILROAD 

It was not long after the build- 
ing of railroads through the 
country that all stage coach 
routes were done away with. 

What is now the main division 
of the Wabash railroad was con- 
structed through this county, 
across Bement and Cerro Gordo 
Townships in the years of 1855- 
56. At that time, it was known 
as the Great Western Railroad. 
Both ends of the road were be- 
ing worked at one time and the 
connection was made near Cerro 
Gordo. 

In the fall of 1854 the San- 
gamon River was bridged, and 
by November, 1855 the grading 
and bridging between Tolono and 
Danville was completed. How- 
ever, the first train did not ar- 
rive at Danville, Illinois, until 
November, 1856. 

The Chicago division of the 
Wabash was chartered as the 
Bloomington and Ohio River 
Road in 1867. It was afterwards 
consolidated with the Streator 
and Fairbury Company and 



POUNDSTONE 
CONSTRUCTION CO. 

EARL POUNDSTONE 
BEMENT, ILL R.F.D. 1 PHONE 2149 

FARM BUILDING A SPECIALTY 


Compliments of 

RALPH DUNAWAY 

PAINTING and DECORATING 

PHONE 4811 
BEMENT, ILLINOIS 


Compliments of 

ATOMIC CLEANERS 

BEMENT, ILLINOIS 
— PHONE 3441 — 

P. J. AND MILDRED FERGUSON 


Compliments of 

THE FRANCIS 
FLORAL SHOP 

265 N. ORCHARD ST. 
PHONE 2981 

MRS. F. E. LINCICUM 


BEMENT GAS CO. 

Phone 4881 
BEMENT ILLINOIS 

for 

Bulk Propane"- Philgas Hook-ups 

Heating - Air Conditioning 

Refrigeration 

AAenno D. Plank, Mgr. 


CONGRATULATIONS BEMENT ON YOUR 
CENTENNIAL . . . 

HAMPTONS 
BARBER SHOP 

In Bement Since 1937 
"BUTCH" HAMPTON, Owner 


COMPLIMENTS OF 

Dr. & Mrs. Wm. M. Scott 

BEMENT, ILLINOIS 


COMPLIMENTS 
OF 

BRYAN WILSON 

BEMENT, ILLINOIS 



named the Chicago and Paducah. 
This railroad was completed and 
placed in operation in 1873. In 
1880, it became a part of the 
Wabash system. 

During its entire period of ex- 
pansion east of the Mississippi 
River, the Wabash system served 
as the principal artery tapping 
the great "Heart of America". 
In 1879, the Wabash Railroad 
Company operating east of the 
Mississippi, and the St. Louis, 
Kansas City and Northern Rail- 
road operating west of the Mis- 
sissippi, were merged into the 
Wabash, St. Louis and Pacific 
Railroad Company. In 1889, both 
the lines east and west of the 
Mississippi were again reorgan- 
ized, this time as the Wabash 
Railroad Company. 




Old Coal Chute 




A new "elegant" depot was 
built in Bement around 1880 on 
the site of the present depot. To 
the east of it was a baggage 
room, and across the tracks 
southeast was a larger freight 
house. Passenger trains and 
freight trains from North, South, 
East, and West all stopped in 
Bement. In 1905, according to 
a special edition of the Bement 
Register on Feb. 23 of that year : 

"Bement was the division point 
for several train crews and a 
number of extra trains were 
made up here. The coal chutes 
were the largest on the entire 
Wabash system and there were 
66 trains in and out of town 
every 24 hours that carried pass- 
engers and an average of about 
60 freight trains within the 
same length of time." 

On January 1, 1931, about 3 
A. M., the depot was burned to 
the ground after being plowed 
into by the baggage car of train 



No. 13 from Chicago to St. Louis 
which came dis-connected from 
the rest of the train and left the 
rails about 700 feet north of the 
depot. The engineer of the train 
died from injuries two days 
later. 



During the war years it was 
not possible to secure either ma- 
terials or labor for making out- 
standing additions or improve- 
ments to their property.. Post- 
war, however, the Wabash has 
invested more than one hundred 
million dollars in new facilities 
of all kinds in order to serve 
even more efficiently the ship- 
ping and traveling public. In ad- 
dition to modernizing its freight 
yards, communication facilities, 
and signaling devices, the Wa- 
bash has also greatly improved 
its passenger train equipment. 
Now 100% dieselized for both 
passenger and freight service, 
and upholding its promise of 
even better service to the "Heart 
of America", the Wabash again 
stands on the threshold of a 
bright, successful future. 




"Green's Train" entering Bement. The Junction Eating House is shown at the 
right. This lunch room stayed open all night and served lunch and warm meals 
at all hours. 



CENTENNIAL GREETINGS 



EDWARDS 
FUNERAL HOME 

BEMENT .... ILLINOIS 

• Air Conditioned 

• Ambulance Service 

Day and Night 



PHONE 4441 




Best Wishes to Bement 

On Its 100th Birthday 

HILLS CAFE 

BEMENT, ILLINOIS 
Serving the Community for 30 Years 



VANHORN HYBRIDS 

in the interest 
of Better Farming 

• SEED CORN 

• FIELD SEEDS 

• FERTILIZERS 

• CHEMICALS 
•HAHN SPRAYERS 

Local Representative 

KENNETH B. HINTON 
MONTICELLO, ILLINOIS 

PHONE WESDALE 43817 



To all our many friends in the Bement 
community we send our Best Wishes 
for another 100 years as prosperous 
as the last. 

PIATT COUNTY 
SERVICE CO. 

MONTICELLO, ILLINOIS 

Bement Salesmen 

ARTHUR McCRARY - PHONE 3751 
A. W. RUCH - MONTICELLO 2134 



THE ILLINOIS TERMINAL 
RAILROAD 

An electrical interurban rail- 
road was built through Bement 
in 1907. The "ol' Traction" 
gave the community a direct 
passage to nearby cities and 
opened the way to a more com- 
plete pattern of living. 

Enthusiasm for this type of 
travel swept the mid-west, par- 
ticularly Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, 
and Michigan, in the horse and 
buggy days at the turn of the 
century. Lines sprouted in al- 
most every part of these states. 
It was the belief of many that a 
town simply had to have electric 
railroad service if it were to con- 





tinue to progress. Each town 
was determined to have interur- 
ban service and made every ef- 
fort to obtain this service. 

The beginning of the Illinois 
Terminal was made in 1903 with 
a line between Danville and 
Champaign. William B. McKin- 
ley was the organizer of the 
road. His inspiration for the 
service stemmed from a humble 
little electric line he operated to 
connect Champaign and Urhana. 
In 1907 the Illinois Terminal was 
built through Bement. The in- 
terurban provided frequent serv- 
ice, a convenient depot, and a 
cheap fare. The Bement Regis- 
ter of 1909 lists the Illinois Ter- 
minal Time Schedule and shows 
15 trains West Bound and 15 
trains East Bound — daily. 

The interurban served Bement 
as a priceless institution until 
the days of the modern automo- 
biles and highways. Once the 
family car became really prac- 
tical, however, the electric car 
lost its magic. Students of busi- 
ness point out that there has 



never been anything on the 
American scene to compare with 
the sudden decline of the elec- 
tric interurban. In the years just 
prior to World War II, for in- 
stance, the interurban jolted 
through Bement many times 
with the motorman and conduc- 
tor as its only passengers. The 
coming of the war, though, 
brought an abrupt change in 
Traction traffic. People who had 
not ridden a car for years found 
it an aid to their travel desires 
when gasoline allotments ran 
low. With hostilities continuing, 
the Traction almost became 
crowded. For the younger gen- 
eration, it demonstrated the 
worth the line had once held for 
the community. 

Following the close of the war, 
things gradually became normal 
again, and the traffic on the in- 
terurban decreased until it be- 
came unprofitable to run the 
trains any longer. Gradually the 
number of trains was cut until 
finally on June 11, 1955, the last 
train was removed on the route 



Last Train Through Bement, June 11, 
1955. 



through Bement. Several Be- 
ment Sisters of the Swish (some 
accompanied by their children or 
guests) took a short last ride on 
the interurban as it made its 
final run on Saturday — June 11, 
1955. For some of the children 
it was really their first ride as 
well as their last on the inter- 
urban. The group, .around thirty 
in number, got off at Cerro Gor- 
do where despite the steady rain, 
they were met by a group of the 
Cerro Gordo Sisters of the 
Swish. 



Although Bement could boast 
of a number of business houses 
in 1913, few of the merchants 
used the local paper for exten- 
sive advertising. And this was 
certainly not due to any laxity on 
the part of the editor, Mr. J. T. 
Curtis. On the front page of his 
paper appear the words: "Pub- 
lished for cash, not for glory." 

Many changes in the business 
picture of Bement were seen in 

1916. More grocery stores, ga- 
rages, and auto repair establish- 
ments made their appearance. In 

1917, there was increased empha- 
sis upon automobiles. Local mer- 
chants served as agents for the 
Reo, Buick, Ford, and Willys- 
Overland. 

Advertisement in Bement Reg- 
ister, February 17, 1898 — "There 
are three little things which do 
more work than any three other 
little things created — they are 
the ant, the bee, and DeWitt's 
Little Early Risers, the last being 
the famous little pills for stom- 
ach and liver trouble. — S. K. Bod- 
man." 



1 . L. E. Hawver 

2. Wayne Foran 

3. Frank Lubbers 

4. Bud Lubbers 

5. Wm. A. Alexander 

6. D. O. Holman 

7. Thad Ruby 

8. Bob Lieb 

9. Stan Foley 
10. W. E. Byron 

1 1 . Paul Hannon 

12. Lloyd Wigg/ins 

13. Albert Weakley 



See these Dealers for . . . 
High Protein, Special Blend . . . Highest Yield- 
ing, Better Standing, Better Picking, Better 
Graded . . . 



LOWE 
HYBRID CORN 







/• 


i 






9 f 




•V 


P 1 h 

h >. 
■f 


'A3 •? 

/ r 


it 




•7 




•n 



CONGATULATIONS 



TO 



BEMENT 



FOR 



100 YEARS OF 



SUCCESS 






COTTER IMPLEMENT CO. 

HAMMOND, ILLINOIS 



Compliments of 

BEMENT BEAUTY SHOPS 

• MELBA CURRY 

• MARGUERITE ALLEN 

• MARY HILLIS TOTTEN 

• JACKIE'S BEAUTY SALON 



CENTENNIAL CONGRATULATIONS 
OF . . . 

Bement Unit School 

PARENT - TEACHER 
ASSOCIATION 

DISTRICT 10 OF ILLINOIS CONGRESS 



Compliments of 

DR. J. G. BAUER 

BEMENT, ILLINOIS 



Compliments of 



DR. & MRS. JOHN C.ELDER 



BEMENT, ILLINOIS 



Bement was nothing but a grassy prairie when the first settlers ar- 
rived and there were no trees at all, which led Mr. George L. Spear to write 
the following: "The parent or teacher coidd not procure a switch for the 
correction of children and youth in the territory of the town. This accounts 
for the waywardness of the youth of these days. The rod had to be spared, 
and to 'spare the rod is to spoil the child,' if Solomon be any authority . . . 
Wonder if he. was raised on the prairie?" 

EDUCATION keeps our society moving toward progress. The old 
frontier of free land is gone, but education develops new frontiers of 
opportunity! It gives man the chance to improve his way of life and 
the way of life of others: Education is more than learning — like 
Democracy, it is a way of life. True, democracy is a political system, 
but it is also a way of life and the door to democracy is unlocked by 
Education. It means giving each one an equal chance. Every child, 
the rich and the poor, the negro and the foreign born, the child in 
the mountains and the child from the "wrong side of the tracks," — 
they all have equal opportunities for education under our system of 
free public education in this country. Thus, the schools teach democ- 
racy and help directly to create a democratic society. The schools have 
always played an important role in the history of any town or com- 
munity and so we think it proper that they should be assigned an 
important place in "The Bement Story." 




Bement School — 1866 



The first school election of of- 
ficers in School District No. 2, 
(and that was the village dis- 
trict at that time) was held Nov. 
10, 1856. Joseph Bodman, Aaron 
Yost, and Henry C. Booth were 
elected as the first directors. 
They employed Henry C. Booth 
to teach the first term of three 
months at the salary of $40 per 
month. The second three-month 
term was taught by Mr. Booth's 
sister, Catherine T. Booth, who 
was married in December of that 
year to Stephen B. Hawks. Mrs. 
Hawks was long remembered in 
Bement and was affectionately 
spoken of as "Aunt Kate Hawks." 

On Nov. 2, 1857, Aaron Yost, 
Crippen, and Booth were elected 
directors and they employed S. 




K. Bodman to teach 5Vi> months; 
price omitted from the records. 

On the following January 23, 
1858, an election was called to 
fill the vacancies made by the 
resignation of Crippen and Booth, 
resulting in the election of John 
Parker and S. B. Hawks. How- 
ever, on April 19, Parker and 
Hawks resigned as directors and 
Booth and W. H. Ellis were elect- 
ed. On April 26, 1858, J. C. Rich- 
ards was employed as teacher for 
4 months; no price given in the 
records. 

In October, 1858, the south- 
east 14 of Section 12, the east 
V 2 of Section 13, and the east 
Y 2 of Section 24 were annexed 
to the original district. Later 
that year J. F. Alvord. Joe 



Charles Strohl, smiling, capa- 
ble toastmaster used Bement's 
first school bell to call the 550 
diners to attention at the Bement 
Centennial Kick-Off Dinner, April 
11, 1955. 

This bell is a handbell used 
by the first teacher, Henry C. 
Booth, in the winter term of 
1856. It was also used by his 
sister, Catherine Booth, who 
taught the second term in Be- 
ment in the spring of 1857. In 
December of that year, she mar- 
ried Stephen B. Hawks. The bell 
is now the property of their 
niece, Miss Mary E. Hawks, who 
used this bell for ten years wnile 
teaching in the rural schools be- 
fore she came to town to teach. 
This bell has a tag on it which 
reads: "The first school bell rang 
in Bement in 1856; Henry C. 
Booth, teacher." 



Sparks, and E. Bodman were 
elected as directors. 

Rented buildings were used for 
school purposes up to this time. 
Looking to the building of a 
school house sufficient in capac- 
ity for the better accommodation 
of the increasing number of scho- 
lars, measures were adopted. 

The size, shape, and plan of 
the structure were soon agreed 
upon, plans and specifications 
adopted, and bids for building the 
same were asked for and re- 
ceived. F. E. Bryant took the 
contract, and it was built by John 
M. Camp. 

Previous to the completion of 
the new building, a room was 
rented in a private home and C. 
D. Moore was hired to teach the 



Compliments of . . 



CEDAR KNOLL 
SUPPER CLUB 

Fried Chicken and Steaks 



on 



ROUTE 36 and 121 on LAKE DECATUR 



PHONE 4817 



HANK AND FREDA POTRAFKA 



MID-WEST 
ORDER BUYERS 



4055 EAST LOGAN 



DECATUR, 



ILLINOIS 



Your Best Hog Market 



PHONE 8-5641 



GENO PRODUCTS COMPANY 



Agricultural Chemicals — Veterinary Drugs 



PHONE 5366 



205 E. LIVINGSTON 



MONTICELLO, ILLINOIS 



CONGRATULATIONS, BEMENT, ON YOUR 100TH BIRTHDAY 

E. E. HUBBARD & SON 

SEE US FOR COMPLETE PLUMBING, HEATING AND 

AIR CONDITIONING INSTALLATION AND SERVICE 

HOTPOINT APPLIANCES 



PHONE 5771 



MONTICELLO, ILLINOIS 



winter term at $40 per month. 

The general outline of the 
building was as follows: 

26 feet wide and 40 feel, 
long, two stories high — HV2 
feet each, with brick founda- 
tion 2 feet high and 18 
inches thick. The contract 
price of the school house was 
$2000 and was to be finished 
by the first day of May, 
1859. 

Three sites were examined for 
the location of the new school 
house; the properties of Hunt 
and Carter, Wm. Rea, and John 
Rickets. Finally a vote was tak- 
en, for one of two sites, one on 
the north side of the railroad and 
one on the south side. The south 
side location won out — Lots 5 
and 6, Block E in Rea's Addition 
to Bement. The block of ground 
upon which the building stood 
was donated by L. B. Wing and 
William Rea, and comprises the 
ground now occupied by the 
grade and high school buildings. 
The new school was completed 
on June 5, 1859, and the secre- 
tary was instructed to procure a 
bell and place it in the belfrey. 

The bell was purchased in To- 
ledo, Ohio, in 1859 by S. K. Bod- 
man. This bell had been used 
previously upon a steamer, "Trie 
Lady of the Lake" which sailed 
upon Lake Erie. In 1858, "The 
Lady of the Lake" left the wharf 
at Toledo, laden with a gay and 
festive party of passengers and 
crew, with hearts buoyant and 
full of hope as she steamed away 
upon the bosom of the placid wa- 
ters of Lake Erie: little did that 




'Aunt Kate Hawks" 



once happy party think that they 
would be 'struggling with the 
waves over which they were so 
proudly and buoyantly sailing; 
but alas, disastrous and certain 
doom overtook them, and that 
bell sounded the alarm and death 
knell of the passengers and crew 
that went down to a watery doom 
on that fated steamer, "The Lady 
of the Lake." That bell was 
placed in the belfrey of the Be- 
ment School, and for many years 
was used to call the students lo 
class. 

On June 16, 1859, the directors 
employed J. B. Lowell (the first 
teacher in the new school build- 
ing) to teach at $28 per month. 
He was instructed to employ an 
assistant at $17 per month. At 
this time there was an average 
of about 50 scholars in attend- 
ance. 




Bement School — 1892 — 

The 




BEMENT SCHOOL TEACHERS ABOUT 1896-97 

Reading from left to right: Charles Mcintosh, George Thompson, Willard Toby, 
Kathryn Fisher, Mattie Johnson, Lena Hammond, Winfred Hammond, Mary 
Thomas, Minerva Goodrich, and Grace Barnett. 



board consisted of Wm. 
DeLaughter, Aaron Yost, and 
William Parker in October, 1859, 
when they employed A. S. Norris 
to teach for 6 months at $65 per 
month and pay his own assist^ 
ant. This teacher was not suc- 
cessful, and he was actually 
drummed out of town on the 
night of Feb. 22, 1860. 

George L. Spear had just ar- 
rived in Bement the day before, 
and this is the story he tells in 
his history: "I was a witness 
to this rough usage. Norris kept 
his own restaurant at the school 
house, where he also slept. Upon 
the whole, we then thought Be- 
ment was a rough place. As we 
had not been here more than 24 
hours till we were obliged to 
witness the desecration of Wash- 
ington's birthday, it was not very 
encouraging to say the least. In 
fact, from that day to this 



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MILMINE, ILLINOIS 
PHONE — CERRO GORDO — 63F13 



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PHONE 6766- 



MONTICELLO, ILL. 



DOUGLASS 

Hardware & Bldg. Sup. 

MONTICELLO 
TEL. 6966 

Aluminum Awnings - Canvas Awnings 

Sherwin Williams Paints - Dutch Boy Paints 

Admiral Appliances - Toys 

Genert/I Hardware - Kitchenware 



CONGRATULATIONS 
TO 

Bement Centennial 

GLENNONS' 
TAVERN 

BEMENT, ILLINOIS 

1 Block West of Route 105 

Operating in Bement Since 1947 



Anhydrous Ammonia - Liquid & Dry 
Fertilizers 

MERRIMAN 
TRUCK SERVICE 

Phone 7021 
MONTICELLO, ILLINOIS 

LIMESTONE - LIVESTOCK - PHOSPHATE 




601 EAST GRANT ST. MONTICELLO, ILLINOIS 




ICE 
CREAM 

tf trs 60G.OENS 

trig e or ro 3£ 6OO0.' 



(1878), Bement has not been 
clear of an element which has 
sought to correct the errors of" 
the place aside from the regular 
method. Late years, however, a 
resort to legal means has been 
in order, and we believe better 
order has been maintained. Mobo- 
cracy failed to rectify the morals 
of the place and we condemn it 
on all occasions and in all gov- 
ernments." 

After Norris was removed, the 
school did not prosper so well for 
several years afterwards. It can 
be seen by the rapid change of 
teachers and board members that 
there was quite a bit of trouble 
in the school system in its early 
days. However, when the out- 
side element that used to dictate 
to the teachers and board mem- 
bers lost their power, a better 
class of teachers were employed 
and they had the undivided aid 
and support of the directors. It 
was then that the school pros- 
pered and flourished. 

The records show that there 
were 105 scholars over 5 years 
of age and under 21 years, en- 
rolled in November, 1859. There 
were also 52 scholars under five 
years of age. 

On April 16, 1860, John A. Hel- 
man was employed as teacher for 
4 months at $50 per month and 
was to pay his own assistant 
who was his wife. Helman was 
successful inasmuch as the school 
was under better discipline than 
formerly, and the scholars ad- 
vanced and took pride in doing 
well. 

George L. Spear was elected as 
a director in 1861, along with 
Thomas Mutherspaw and Aaron 
Yost. They employed J. Russell 
Johnson at $60 per month for 
the spring term of 1861, who was 
to furnish his own assistant. This 
man taught but a few weeks. For 
good cause, well known to the 
older inhabitants, he was dis- 
charged even though he was an 
excellent scholar. 

On Sept. 2, 1861, James Pat- 
rick was employed to teach 6 
months at $75 per month and 
furnish his own assistant. Mr. 
Patrick was a very energetic and 
thorough teacher and the school 
advanced under his instruction 
and leadership. 

On May 10, 1863, the board em- 
ployed Edmond Chenney at $75 
per month and was to pay his 
own assistant. On Sept. 21, 1863, 
the school had increased so much 



that it was necessary to employ 
a third teacher, Miss Mary Tay- 
lor. 

In 1864 the question of a nine 
month school term was consid- 
ered but defeated. The question 
of a new school house was also 
defeated. In 1865 the question 
of a six month school term was 
considered and passed, and also a 
proposition to build an additional 
room. 

During the first ten years oi 
the school system in Bement, the 
interest kept growing and the 
number of scholars increased and 
a thirst for literary attainments 
so completely absorbed the at- 
tention of the citizens that addi- 
tional school room became a 
growing necessity. And so it was 
in 1866 that the directors decid- 
ed to build a house 66' x 26', 2 
stories high at right angles to 
the original building on the south, 
and forming a "T" which gave 
4 large rooms with halls in the 
center, above and below; with a 
suitable belfrey over the stairway 
and main hall into which was 
placed the old bell used in tho 
original building. This building 
was commodious, substantial, and 
beautiful and it was the pride of 
the citizens of Bement. 

On August 6, 1866, the board 
hired Mr. H. A. Coffeen at $90 
per month and his sister Miss 
Dama Coffeen at $45 per month 
to teach for six months. Mr. 
Coffeen commenced his term by 
standardizing the grading system 
and he assigned the students to 
three departments. He took 
charge of the principal's depart- 
ment, and Miss Dama was as- 
signed to the intermediate. A 
third teacher, Miss Martha Tip- 
pett, was employed for the pri- 
mary department. It was soon 
necessary to employ a fourth 
teacher to take charge of a sec- 
ond primary department and Miss 
Adelie Hubbel was hired. 

The school having thus been di- 
vided and graded under the su- 
pervision of Mr. Coffeen (who 
was armed with the necesary 
skill and ability) was then, for 
the first time since her history 
begun, possessed of superior ad- 
vantages. The school prospered 
beyond the expectations of the 
most skeptic, and surprised and 
routed the weaker and faithless 
ones. Although it was. expensive 
and increased taxation, the peo- 
ple generally were satisfied that 
they had received value for every 



cent expended. 

In his reorganization, Mr. Cof- 
feen included a library — the 
schools first. In consideration 
for his fine work, he was rehired 
in 1867 with an increase in sal- 
ary ($1100). Evidently succeed- 
ing instruction was not consid- 
ered on a par with that of Mr. 
Coffeen, for this was the high 
in teachers' salaries for the en- 
suing 20 years. 

On November 3, 1875, the di- 
rectors met for the purpose of 
purchasing an organ for use in 
the school, and decided to buy 
the Esty — style 8. The organ 
was procured and placed in the 
Principal's Department. 

This brings us to the close of 
Mr. George L. Spear's account 
of the early activity of the school 
system, so we continue in a more 
general outline of the happenings 
from this time to the present. 

As the students increased in 
number, new wings were added 
to the school house until in 1892, 
the two-story frame structure 
consisted of 12 rooms with base- 
ment. Steam heat was installed 
in 1884. The school was placed 
on the accredited list of the Uni- 
versity of Illinois in 1879, and in 
1881 the first high school senior 
class was graduated. 

The following were members of 
that first graduating class: Anna 
Pettit, Eva Rosecrans, Geneva 
Dunn, Mary Newton, and Lucie 
Sprague. At this time the grade 
school consisted of nine years 
study instead of the eight we 
have today. However, the high 
school curriculum was arranged 
so that those desiring to omit the 
study of the languages could 
years. Those completing either 
Latin or German, or both, re- 
complete high school in three 
ceived a higher diploma than 
those who did not. 

Before 1899, three fires had 
visited the school building in Be- 
ment. The first of them was 
just a shingle fire and was soon 
put out. On Sept. 4, 1898, the 
school building was struck by 
lightning during a storm and was 
damaged to the extent of $1350, 
which was paid by the insurance- 
companies. The fire was largely 
confined to the belfrey, but con- 
siderable damage was done when 
the bell fell. This bell, the one 
from the "Lady of the Lake 
Steamer", was destroyed when it 
fell. 

Early on the moning of April 




Compliments of 

BEMENT REST HAVEN 

A HOME — NOT AN INSTITUTION 

MRS. OPAL K. BAKER, Owner & Prop. 
Mrs. Anna Hilda Van Landingham, 
Mrs. Phyllis Tipsword, Mrs. Ruth Slagle 
Mrs. Phyllis Strohl, Mrs. Mildred Cozad 
Mrs. Maude Phipps, Mrs. Nellie Corum 
Mrs. Ruby Pierce, Mrs. Virginia Peterson 



Compliments of 

DeKALB AGRICULTURAL 
ASSOCIATION, INC. 

DEKALB, ILLINOIS 
and 

JOHN 0. MOERY 

BEMENT, ILLINOIS 
PHONE 3166 

Local Dealer for 

DeKalb Corn and Chix 



First Choice of American Farmers 



JONES HARDWARE & APPLIANCE 



Roy W. (Dutch) Jones, Prop. 



Gas and Oil Furnaces — Bottle Gas — Plumbing 



BEMENT, ILLINOIS 



PHONE 4262 



McFEETERS IMPLEMENT COMPANY 



SYMBOL 

OF 
SERVICE 



Junction Routes 10 and 54 

CLINTON, ILLINOIS 




INTERNATIONAL 
HARVESTER 



PHONE: 10-780 



McCORMICK TRACTORS AND MACHINES • INTERNATIONAL TRUCKS 
REFRIGERATORS • FREEZERS 



4, 1899, the entire building was 
destroyed by fire. The fire orig- 
inated during the night from 
some unknown cause and before 
it was discovered, the building 
was past saving. All contents of 
the building except part of the 
library books and one of the two 
pianos, were destroyed by the 
fire. The loss included grade 
cards, school records, etc. and 
the loss of some money. 

Arrangements were made at 
once for starting a new building. 
In the fall of 1899 and spring of 
1900, a magnificent new building 
was erected at the cost of $27,- 
000. It was the handsomest school 
of any in the smaller towns in 
the state. The cornerstone of 
this building, which is now used 
by the grade school, was laid on 
August 27, 1899. Until the build- 
ing was completed in Feb. 1900, 
school was held in the Town Hall, 
the churches, lodge rooms, and 
vacant store buildings. 

BEMENT'S PRESENT SCHOOL 
SYSTEM 




ceded the completion of the new 
school, portable buildings were 
erected and the eighth grade was 
moved to the brick building south 
of the Masonic Hall. Because this 
building was once a saloon, this 
was dubbed — "Budweiser Col- 
lege." 




South-East view of the Bement High School 



The new school contained 11 
rooms, besides offices, recitation 
rooms, etc. It was heated by 
steam, had drinking water on 
each floor and had a very effi- 
cient system of ventilation. The 
members of the board at that 
time were: Wm. J. Day (Presi- 
dent), J. T. Moore (Secretary), 
W. T. Bower, L. H. Alvord, Geo. 
Dawson, Wm. Loveless, and Jos. 
Fahrnkopf. 

The present high school build- 
ing was begun in 1919 and was 
ready for use in the fall of 1920. 
During the years of its building 
Wm. J. Day was president of the 
board; W. A. Steel was secretary, 
and other members were: H. E. 
Shaw, John Moery, By Dyar- 
man, and O. E. Wright. The 10 
acre athletic field was also pur- 
chased in the spring of 1920. Dur- 
ing a congested period which pre- 



In the fall of 1927, a course in 
Agricuture was added to the cur- 
riculum in the high school, 
taught by Mr. Trevor L. Jones. 
That same fall (1927), Mr. Harry 
E. Slusser came to Bement from 
Vandalia, Illinois, where he had 
been superintendent for seven 
years. He served as the superin- 
tendent of the Bement High 
School for 19 years until 1946 
when he resigned to enter private 
business here in Bement. In the 
fall of 1928, the school page ap- 
peared in the local newspaper — 
The Bement Register. This sec- 
tion was called the BETOHI 
NEWS, and it has been a regular 
feature of the paper ever since. 

The present Bement Commun- 
ity School District No. 5 was or- 
ganized in 1948 as part of the 
plan to consolidate all the schools 
in this area. Previous to this time 
there were 17 country schools in 




North-East view of High School, showing connection with new Gym. 



addition to the schools in Mil- 
mine, Ivesdale, and Bement. In 
1939 there were 30 teachers and 
570 pupils in all of these grade 
schools. Today with grade schools 
in Bement, Milmine, and Ivesdale 
there are 21 teachers and 450 
students. In 1939 there were 11 
teachers in the high school with 
185 students and today we have 
12 teachers with an enrollment of 
138 students. With the consoli- 
dation of the schools came the 
school buses, hot lunches for the 
children, and better all round 
facilities for education. 

The present superintendent is 
Mr. Walter Slate* who came to 
Bement to be the first superin- 
tendent of the newly organized 
school district in 1948. In the fall 
of 1951 and the spring of 1952, a 
beautiful new gymnasium and 
several modern classrooms were 
built after the people of this com- 
munity had voted for a bond is- 
sue with increased taxation to 
provide our community with the 
school facilities which we so bad- 
ly needed. 

The Bement High School is vis- 
ited and fully accredited by the 
State Department of Public In- 
struction. It is fully recognized 
by the North Central Associa- 
tion. The students from Bement 
High School are admitted to any 
college or university in the Unit- 
ed States without examination, if 
they have satisfactory grades up- 
on application. 

And so we come to the close 
of our story about the schools in 
Bement. We feel that it was in- 
deed fitting and proper that two 
of our Bement school teachers, 
Mr. Harry E. Slusser and Miss 
Isabelle Houston, were chosen to 




Members of the Bement School Board at the present time, reading from left 
to right, standing: A. E. Bodman (President) Clarence Lefever, and Russell Rodg- 
ers. Seated, from left to right: Howard Lamb, Ralph Moery Jr., Charles Tabaka, 
and Albert Harshbarger. 



be honored this Centennial Year 
as the Man and Woman of the 
Year. 

These two people stand as a 
symbol of all the teachers, wno 
by their teaching, advice, and 
that rare quality of understand- 
ing people, have influenced and 
guided many lives in the right 
direction. Our thanks go to all 
those teachers for a job well 
done. 




Walter Slater 





Bement's School Buses Owned and operated by Lynn Crook 



Miss Isabelle Houston and Harry E. 
Slusser, honored as Man and Woman 
of the Year. 




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THE BEMENT CHURCHES . . . 

Great are the values which science has brought and will bring to 
humanity, but man cannot live by science alone for science does not 
provide him with the ethical guidance nor the spiritual insights which 
are needed to realize our ideals of the good life . . . 

We need the church and the church needs us ... ! The churches 
of our community played a very important part in the lives of the 
early settlers of Bement, and today the churches are increasingly es- 
sential. The churches offer us a refuge from the busy hurried way of 
living. To thank God for our many daily blessings could best be done 
by slowing down our pace of life and giving to Him a portion of our 
most valuable possession — Time. 

Several children were standing inside a church once admiring 
the stained-glass window depicting Christ at prayer as the sun shone 
through the window. "It's beautiful here," one boy said, with a 
greater wisdom than he realized, "but it ain't no good if you are out- 
side." 

And so it is — ! "It ain't no good if you are on the outside!" — 
Let's all Go To Church!!! 



FIRST METHODIST CHURCH 

The Methodist Church is the 
oldest church in Bement, being 
organized in 1858 under the pas- 
torate of Rev. Edward Rutledge. 
The first church was known as 
the M. E. Society. Before the So- 
ciety had a church structure it 
held its meetings in the school 
house and at Bryant's Hall (the 
room over the present IGA 
store). The services were attend- 
ed by the majority of the com- 
munity until 1862 when the 
Christian Church was organized. 

The first trustees (elected for 
life or until removed) were: J. M. 
Taylor, William Parker, William 
Stillwell, C. Schoolcraft, James 
McDowell, Elias Baldwin, Thomas 
Postlewait, Samuel Sparks, and 
C. D. Moore. 

The first church building was 






erected in 1864, and was dedicat- 
ed by Rev. H. Buck, with Rev. J. 
C. Lewis as the first pastor. This 
building was located in the block 
east of the Swenson residence, 
and the house where the Richard 
Dancey's recently lived was used 
as the first parsonage. The mem- 
bership in 1870, according to the 
report of Rev. J. Montgomery, 
pastor, was 105 full members and 
27 probationers. The congrega- 
tion bought and installed a double 
banked organ at the cost of $475. 
In 1871, all but one of the orig- 
inal trustees had died, so a new 
board was elected for a term of 
five years each: George W. Mox- 
field, John M. Ercanbrack, S. G. 
Vrooman, Robert H. McDowell, 
Albert L. Starr, J. V. McDowell, 
George E. Spear, James S. Peairs. 
This new board considered a new 





location for the church, but due 
to bank failure and business re- 
verses, the plans had to be post- 
poned. The board of trustees 
sponsored an excursion to St. 
Louis over the C. P. I. St. Louis 
Railroad as a means of making 
money towards a parsonage fund. 
The tickets for the excursion cost 
$3.75 for a round trip. The 
amount of money raised by this 
excursion must have been en- 
couraging, as the treasurer, Mr. 
Dustin, paid the railroad com- 
pany $450.00 for six coaches and 
one baggage car. 

In 1890-91, while Rev. J. T. 
Pender was pastor, plans were 
made for a new church building. 
In March of 1892, the lots where 
the present church stands were 
purchased and a new frame build- 
ing was built with a large audi- 
torium with north and south 
wings. The church was dedicated 
in 1893 under the leadership of 
Rev. M. S. McCoy. 

This continued to be the church 
home until 1916 when it was 
found to be inadequate to meet 
the needs and the erection of the 
present colonial style church was 
begun. The building committee 
of the present church consisted 
of the following people: Byron 
Dyarman, Thos. Priestly, A. M. 
Totten, W. G. McPherson, R. R. 
Siders, T. W. Lamb, and Charles 
Adkins. It may be noted that A. 
M. Totten was connected with 
the erection of the last two 
churches. 



On Sunday, May 20, 1917, un- 
der the pastorate of Rev. Wilbert 
Dowson, Bishop William A. 
Quayle held the dedication serv- 
ices and preached the morning 
sermon and Dr. J. O. Randall 
preached in the evening. The 
dedication services lasted all week 
except for Wednesday night, 
which was Commencement. The 
Inaugural Organ Recital was held 
on Friday night, May 25, by Wm. 
M. Jenkins of St. Louis. While 
this church was being erected, 
the Methodists worshipped with 
the Presbyterians. The cost of 
the new church and pipe organ 
was around $35,000. 

A highlight of the church his- 
tory was the 75th Anniversary 
Homecoming in 1933 which was 
attended by a thousand or more 
throughout the day including 
many former ministers and their 
families. The closing service was 
attended by over 500 who came 
to see the pageant — "Heaven 
Bound" which was presented by 
50 Negroes from the A. M. E. 
Church of Decatur. 

When the present church was 
built, a bell was not installed, but 
in December 1953, the Church be- 
came the recipient of a set of 25 
Carillonic Bells. The bells were 
presented by Mr. George W. Lar- 
son, who has done so many splen- 
did things for the church and 
community. 

The present pastor is Rev. D. 
Ross Fleming who is now in his 
fourth year in Bement. The 
church and pastor enjoys a fine 
fellowship with the other 
churches in the community and 
they pray for continued growth 
in Christian fellowship for the 
years ahead as we pause to cele- 
brate these first 100 years of this 
community. 



CHRISTIAN CHURCH 

The second oldest church in 
Bement is the Christian Church 
which was organized in 1862 at 
a meeting in the home of Wm. 
Monroe. Wm. Monroe and Mar- 
tin Ruble were elected as the 
first elders, and Samuel Hopkins 
and Thomas Dunn were elected 
as first deacons. Other charter 
members were: Jane Monroe, B. 
G. Hopkins, Mary B. Hopkins, 
John J. Gosney, Elizabeth Evans, 
Ann E. Gosney, Susana Gosney, 
Caroline Yost and Elizabeth 
Hughs. 

At this meeting the group re- 
solved to take the Bible and the 




Bible alone as their rule of faith 
and practice and this constitutes 
the church of Christ. James Con- 
ner Jr. who had charge of the 
organization meeting was the 
first minister and served for two 
years. 

Services were held in private 
homes and later in Bryant's Hall. 
In the winter of 1864 the church 
held a revival meeting. Many 
persons made their confessions of 
faith and were taken in sleds to 
the Sangamon River north of 
Monticello to be baptised. One of 
those immersed was Mrs. Maggie 
White who died Dec. 22, 1948, 
at the age of 98. She related 
that the ice had to be cut, and 
the water was so cold that the 
clothes of those baptized froze 
stiff on them, and they rode 
many miles before they could 
change to dry clothes. 

Elder G. W. Thompson, father 
of Carl R. Thompson, was the 



minister in 1878, and served for 
one year. The present minister 
is Rev. David R. Scates. 

In 1876 a church was erected 
on the corner of West Bodman 
Street (just north of the present 
home of Dr. J. G. Bauer and 
family) at a cost of $800. It 
was surrounded by a board fence 
to keep stray cows and horses 
from roaming through the yard. 

In 1885 an addition was built 
on the south. Sunday School 
was held in the afternoon from 
3 to 4 o'clock and was attended 
by children from the other 
churches where Sunday School 
hours were from 12 to 1 p. m. 

In the spring of 1896 the 
church lot was sold and the 
building was moved to the pres- 
ent site. The building was en- 
larged, the baptistry changed, 
new pews purchased, a furnace 
and electric lights were installed. 
On March 29, 1941, the building 
burned to the ground at a loss 
of $10,000. The following year 
the present brick church was 
built at a cost of $12,000. 

On the night of Jan. 9, 1953, 
fire again destroyed much of the 
interior of the church. Every 
room was damaged by smoke and 
the Hammond Organ was dam- 
aged beyond repair. The organ 
was a gift to th]e church in 1948 
from Jack Thompson of Miami, 
Florida, in memory of his grand- 
parents, Dr. and Mrs. G. W. 
Thompson and Dr. and Mrs. E. 
H. Graves, long time members 
and workers in the church. 

This disaster was a staggering 
blow for the congregation, but 
after much labor and redecorat- 
ing, (most of it done by the men 
and women of the church) the 
building was rededicated and a 
new organ was installed. 




CONGRATULATIONS BEMENT ON YOUR 
100TH BIRTHDAY 



Vincent's Marathon Ser. Station Vincent's Produce 



In Bement Since 1948 



Harold Vincent, Owner 



ON ROUTE 105 



Buyer for Sugar Creek Creamery 

In Bement Since 1929 

Mrs. Harold Vincent, Prop. 



CONGRATULATIONS TO BEMENT ON YOUR 100th BIRTHDAY! 



Get Your 



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IN BEMENT AT . . . 



H & M Superway — Vincent's Service Station 
Chink's Coffee Shop 



Always A Friendly Welcome 

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TAVERN 



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PHONE 4691 



CHARLES (Stub) RAY 

BEMENT, ILLINOIS 
PHONE 500 F 1 1 

Representative of 

BANKER'S LIFE CO. 

DES MOINES, IOWA 

A Mutual Legal Reserve Company Serving the 
Nation for Over 75 Years 

I WISH TO THANK MY MANY POLICY OWN- 
ERS WHOM I HAVE HAD THE PLEASURE OF 
SERVING IN MY 12 YEARS WITH THE COM- 
PANY. 




THE CATHOLIC CHURCH 

The first Catholic Church was 
erected in Bement in 1867 on a 
lot donated by Mansfield & 
Freeze for that purpose. It was 
located on West Moultrie Street 
where Joe Rittenhouse now lives. 
It was a landmark for many 
years. It was later used by a 
group from Cerro Gordo who 
used the building as a place of 
worship and it was then known 
as the Dunkard Church. 

Although the Ivesdale Parish 
is an outgrowth of Bement, it 
increased rapidly and became a 
parish with a resident pastor, 
while Bement remained an out- 
mission. 

In 1888, under the pastorate 
of Father Byrne, the Bement 
congregation began the building 
of a larger, better church nearer 
the center of the town. It was 
located on the site now occupied 
by the present church and was 
dedicated in 1889 by the Rev. 



James Ryan, then newly conse- 
crated Bishop of Alton. 

In 1891, Bement was made ar 
independent parish. Rev. F. G. 
Lentz, the first resident pastor, 
planned and built the present rec- 
tory. 

Plans for a new building be- 
gan taking form in 1912 under 
the pastorate of Rev. L. Selva, 
and on December 18, 1913, the 
present Romanesque type brick 
church was dedicated. The build- 
ing was erected at a cost of $18,- 
000. During the building of the 
new church, the congregation 
worshipped in the old church 
which had been moved across the 
street to the south. Later it was 
sold to James Landis who used 
the material to construct the 
home now occupied by Mr. and 
Mrs. Arthur Edwards. 

Rev. V. J. Liss is the present 
pastor of both St. Michael's 
Church in Bement and St. Philo- 
rnena's Church in Monticello. 




THE FIRST PRESBYTERIAN 
CHURCH 

The First Presbyterian Church 
of Bement was organized on Au- 
gust 29, 1868, at a meeting in 
the Methodist Church. Modera- 
tor of the meeting was Rev. T. 
P. Emerson of the Bloomington 
Presbytery who had met with a 
small group of men and women 
in September of 1867 to ascer- 
tain if the way be clear for the 
organization of an Old School 
Presbyterian Church in Bement. 
At the organization meeting, El- 
dad C. Camp and William New- 
ton were elected ruling elders. 
Other charter members were: 
Elizabeth J. Camp, Mrs. Mary 
Camp, Margaret Newton, Mrs. 
Sarah E. Bryant, Mrs. Emily T. 
Swaney and Mrs. Charlotte Scott. 




At a congregational meeting 
January 30, 1870, a Board of 
Trustees was elected and empow- 
ered to raise funds for, and pro- 
ceed with the erection of a house 
of worship. They were: Joseph 
Bodman, F. E. Bryant, W. A. 
Pierce, A. J. Gregory, William 
M. Camp, and Joseph M. Scott. 
The site of the present church 
was selected and the building of 
the church was begun with J. 
M. Camp as contractor and build- 
er. The basement, finished some 
time that year, was used for all 
services until 1874, when the 
main floor audience room was 
completed, the seats cushioned, 
organ purchased, and a church 
of classic beauty was dedicated 
free of debt. 

On Sunday, April 18, 1880, in 
a severe windstorm, seventy-five 
feet of the steeple and the bell 





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were blown across the street dur- 
ing services. Before noon the 
next day, $200 had been sub 
scribed for rebuilding the steeple. 
The new one, although much low- 
er than the old, could still be 
seen for many miles. The bell 
was undamaged and is even now 
used for all services. This bell 
was also known as the Fire Bell 
since it was used as the Bement 
fire alarm for some years. 

On April 14, 1919, the follow- 
ing committee was appointed to 
look to the building of a new 
modern church: Mrs. William 
Camp, Mrs. J. F. SDraeue, An- 
drew Swenson, J. L. Bodman, A. 
L. Wilkinson, Fred Davies. The 
last service in the old church 
was held on August 8, 1920. The 
cornerstone of the present brick 
structure, on the same site, was 
laid October 24, 1920; and the 
new building was dedicated May 
4, 1922. The organ was a gift 
of the J. F. Spragues. During 
the building period, the Presby- 
terians worshipped with the 
Methodists in their church, the 
ministers preaching on alternate 
Sundays. A large cardboard 
replica of the old frame church, 
made by the late Miss Nellie Al- 
vord in 1922, is kept in a glass 
case at the church. 

The first manse, the house 
now occupied by the H. E. Mur- 
phys at the northeast corner of 
the intersection of South Morgan 
and West Wing Streets, was 
built in the winter of 1881-82 
at a cost of $1700, and was first 
lived in by Dr. Ringland and his 
family. It was later sold and 
the house now occupied by Mr. 
and Mrs. Wm. Fish was pur- 



chased for temporary use. In 
April 1914, plans were made for 
the present manse, which was 
completed in good time and first 
lived in by the Shirleys. 

The church has always been 
missionary-minded. Norman L. 
Camp became an evangelist and 



was associated with the Moody 
Bible Institute of Chicago; W. L. 
Clarke, J. D. Murphy, and Lu- 
cian Scott became duly ordained 
ministers. Miss Mary E. Bod- 
man (Mrs. W. A. Hammond), 
spent several years as a mission* 
ary in Guatemala, and Miss Edna 
Burgess went as a missionary to 
Persia. Rev. Wm. B. Allison re- 
signed as pastor to go to Guate- 
mala as a missionary. 

One cannot speak with justice 
of this church without paying 
tribute to the remarkable con- 
tributions of Miss Nellie Alvord 
and her violin, who so faithfully 
directed a Sunday School Or- 
chestra for many years. 

The church celebrated its 75th 
Anniversary on August 29, 1943, 
with appropriate services. The 
church is now in its 87th year 
with Rev. Clyde E. West as the 
present pastor. He was installed 
January 30, 1955, with Mrs. 
West's father, the Rev. Alfred 
C. Crouch, delivering the charge 
to the new pastor. 




CHURCH OF GOD 

The Church of God was organ- 
ized 25 years or more ago by a 
group of people who held to the 
belief that Salvation makes one 
a member of the church. It still 
holds to this doctrine. 

The first meetings were held in 
private homes. Later the mem- 
bers had tent meetings in the 
summer and early fall. Still later 
they worshipped in various build- 
ings. In 1936 the three lots on 



which the church and parsonage 
are now located were purchased 
and a building was moved to the 
corner lot. This building has been 
remodeled twice. In 1949 ten feet 
was added to the length of the 
building and a full basement with 
four classrooms was added. A 
new parsonage was built the 
same year. 

The first regular pastor was 
Rev. Stanley Holley. The present 
pastor is Rev. C. H. Featherston. 




i i— m i -i i Vwri^p-Krf il^ ni-n' i rmlrimy 




j 









■MMannmiflnHIlWBmiMI,1M«.iMiuFniui sioth u Bimint, Piatt Couhty , Illinois. 



July 1881 — Quote from "Coun- 
try Genteman" magazine. 

A WESTERN BROOM-CORN 
FARM 

Eds. Country Gentleman — 
Business having delayed me sev- 
eral hours at Bement, 111., I took 
the opportunity to visit the farms 
owned and controlled by Mr. Lu- 
ther Bodman of Northampton, 
Mass., and so well pleased was I 
with what I saw, that I give it 
for the benefit of your readers. 
The farms consist of some 3,000 
acres; the lower or broom-corn 
ranch, of some 1,300 acres, being 
devoted to the raising of broom- 
corn, of which about 500 acres 
are raised each year. The rest of 
the land is devoted to pasture, 
meadow, and the raising of small 
grain, but broom-corn receives 
the principal attention. The upper 



ranch, containing the remainder 
of the land is devoted to Indian 
corn, wheat, and flax. The day 
of our visit, there were fifteen 
riding plows going, each with 
three mules attached, turning 
furrows 16 inches wide averaging 
3V2 acres per day; five planters, 
six harrows, four or five rollers, 
besides teams hauling manure, 
men ditching, etc., and we were 
forcibly struck with the order 
and quiet, and the attention of the 
army of laborers to their respec- 
tive duties. Such thorough prepa- 
ration of land for broom-corn I 
never saw. In fact, thoroughness 
was stamped upon everything. 
The absence of all litter and con- 
fusion, such as .one would ex- 
pect about such an establish- 
ment, the neatly painted build- 
ings, and the cleanly whitewash- 
ed out-buildings, all showed that 
the owner was a thorough man 
of business. The crops this year 
upon the farm will consist of 500 




1881 Workers all lined up prior to starting the day's work on the Bodman 
Broom Corn Farm. (This property was later purchased by Mr. A. S. Burr and 
is now known as the Bun- Estate.) he Shepherd Family lived on the farm of 
Mi - . A. S. Burr for a great many years, from the year 1881 when Mr. Burr came 
West to manage the Bodman land. The head of the Shepherd family, Mr. Phillip 
Shepherd, his wife, six sons, Johnson, Adam, John, Hiriam, Jacob, Absalom and 
three daughters, Adelia, Frances, and Elizabeth. Mr. Emmett Shepherd, son of 
Absalom Shepherd lives on the Burr Estate now, and with his son Emmett Dean 
Shepherd, farms 720 acres of land. Mr. Philip Shepherd and his six sons are 
shown in the above photograph of the men and mule teams and two yoke of 
oxen taken in front of the large barn. 



acres of broom-corn, l,zuu acres 
of Indian corn, 200 of oats, 250 
of flax, 300 of wheat, the rest 
hay and pasture. There are 35 
teams, mostly fine Kentucky 
mules; about 150 head of hogs, 
although three or four hundred 
are raised and fattened each 




A. S. Burr 

year on steamed food, comfort- 
able quarters, etc. There are also 
about 100 head of fine fat steers, 
which will soon be sold. In fact, 
everything receives attention. 

These notes would be incom- 
plete without a slight reference 
to the manager of the establish- 
ment, Mr. A. S. Burr of Bridge- 
port, Ct., whose duties, to say 
nothing of the clerical work in- 
volved, require a high order vi 
talent. That these duties are well 
done is clearly apparent; and I 
have yet to see the farm where 
brains, backed by a generous fi- 
nancial support,* have better re- 
sults to show than the above. 
G. W. C. 
Country Gentleman 




I 

5, "BENENT"- 

BAPTlSf 

CHURCH . 



BEMENT BAPTIST CHURCH 

Reading from left to right: Ralph Neathery, Church Treasurer; Rev. Earl Har- 
ris, Pastor; Miss Patsy Westray, Sunday School Secretary; Russell Westray, 
Sunday School Supt.; Charles Neathery, Asst. Sunday School Supt. 

BAPTIST CHURCH 

A two weeks Revival was held 
in the American Legion Hall in 
Bement starting March 24, 1952 
with Rev. Olen Cooprider, Sanga- 
mon Valley Associational Mis- 
sionary as Evangelist and LeRoy 



Geiger, pastor of the Hammond 
Baptist Church as song leader. 
The average attendance was 
sixty-five. 

The first Sunday School serv- 
ices were held on March 30, with 
nine in attendance. Sunday morn- 
ing worship services were held in 



the Legion Hall and Cottage 
Prayer Meetings were held in the 
homes until the Craig building 
was rented in May, 1952. Rev. 
Cooprider served as pastor of the 
mission until June, 1952, when 
Rev. Lawrence Bolsen was called 
as pastor. 

On June 7, 1953 a meeting was 
held in the Legion Hall and the 
Bement Mission was organized as 
the Bement Southern Baptist 
Church. Twelve pastors served on 
the council. The church was or- 
ganized with fourteen charter 
members. 

On August 12, 1953 the church 
called Rev. Earl Harris as pastor, 
and on February 18, 1954 the 
church purchased two lots in the 
south part of town as a site for 
their new church building. On 
Sunday afternoon, September 12, 
they held a short groundbreaking 
service, and on September 20, 
Allen Marquiss dug the base- 
ment. Work was soon started and 
the basement building was com- 
pleted in April, 1955, with the 
members of the church doing 
most of the work. 

The first services in the new 
church were held on Sunday, May 
1, 1955. The average attendance 
is forty members. 






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ORGANIZATIONS 



BEMENT MASONIC LODGE 

The oldest fraternal order in 
Bement is Bement Lodge No. 365 
A. F. & A. M. It was one of the 
strongest and most influential 
organizations in the early history 
of Bement. 

This Lodge was organized at 
a meeting held on January 26th, 
1861. The following officers took 
part: 

Francis E. Bryant, W. M. 
J. O. Sparks, S. W. 
William Stillwell, J. W. 
T. T. Pettit, Treas. 
E. Bruce Sprague, Secy. 
William Waltman, S. D. 
George L. Spear, J. D. 
Aaron Yost, Tyler 
The gavel used at this meeting 
is still in the possession of the 
present lodge. It bears two in- 
scriptions : 

"First gavel used in Bement 

Lodge No. 365— U. D." 
"First Sounded Jan. 26, 1861" 
The Lodge received its charter 
October 1, 1861 with the follow- 
ing as charter members: F. E. 
Bryant, H. A. Bodman, Charles 
Fisher, Jr., A. G. Gregory, G. M. 
Gregory, J. W. C. Gray, John A. 
Helman, T. T. Pettit, M. L. Ry- 
der, J. O. Sparks, William Still- 
well, E. Bruce Sprague, J. M. Tay- 
lor, and Aaron Yost. 

On October 7, 1864 Bement 




Chapter 65 Royal Arch Masons 
received its charter. Joseph Bod- 
man was the first High Priest of 
the chapter which had 17 charter 
members. 

On October 4, 1875 the Bement 
Masonic Association was char- 
tered under the laws of the State 
of Illinois, "for the purposes of 
purchasing a site and erecting a 
building for Masonic purposes for 
the promotion of universal be- 
nevolences and charity." The 
cornerstone of the present build- 
ing was laid with the usual for- 
malities on May 25, 1876. The hall 
was dedicated the following fall 
with quite a ceremony. It was the 
custom in those early days to 
celebrate the completion of near- 




ly every new building with a 
square dance. The building is the 
same today except that the orig- 
inal open stairway on the north 
which led from the street to the 
basement has long since disap- 
peared from view. 

For some years the basement 
was used by business firms in- 
cluding a bakery, a laundry, and 
a restaurant. 

Masonic and Eastern Star 
Chapter rooms are on the 2nd 
floor. The 1st floor is used for 
the Bement Township Library. 



First row 1. to r. : E. C. Haymes, Sec'y; Herbert Lust, S. D.; James Porter, S. 

W.; Ralph Clark, W. M.; Ralph Morgan, J. W.; Cecil Shonkwiler, J. D. 
Second row: Delmar Burbin, S. S.; Kenneth Fisher, Tyler; Robert Still, Treas.; 
W. A. Drake, J. S.; A. L. Born, Chap.; and John Lash, Marshal. 



IVY LEAF CHAPTER 

No. 129 O. E. S. 
Bement, Illinois 

On Wednesday, September 12, 
1888, the Worthy Grand Matron 
and Worthy Grand Patron of Illi- 
nois came to Bement to institute 
a new Eastern Star Chapter, 
which was named the "Tenney" 
Chapter. 

The first officers were: 
Mrs. T. T. Pettit 

Worthy Matron 
Mr. George B. Alvord 

Worthy Patron 
Mrs. C. F. Tenney 

Associate Matron 
Mrs. W. M. Camp 

Treasurer 
Mr. T. T. Pettit 

Secretary 
Anna V. Pettit 
Conductress 
Mrs. George B. Alvord 

Associate Conductress 
Mabel Tenney 

Martha 
Ella Camp 

Electa 
Mrs. O. D. Tinkham 

Warder 
Mr. William Perkins 
Tyler 
Other charter members were: 
Mr. C. F. Tenney, Mayme Camp, 
Mr. O. D. Tinkham. 

The first installation of Ten- 
ney Chapter was held November 
20, 1888. In 1890, the members 
of Tenney Chapter went to Mon- 
ticello to organize Monticello 
Chapter, No. 159. 

At the Grand Chapter Session 
in October, 1905, Mrs. Knapp, 
Worthy Matron of Tenney Chap- 
ter, requested the name of the 
chapter be changed to "Ivy Leaf 
Chapter," as it is now known. 

The following have been mem- 
bers for over 40 years: 

Mr. George Tucker, Mrs. 
George Tucker (Worthy Matron 



CONGRATULATION BEMENT 

ON YOUR 

100TH BIRTHDAY 

THE MADHOUSE 

Route 105 North 
MONTICELLO 

Air Conditioned For Your Comfort 



Congratulations 
1855 - Bement Centennial 



1955 



FRESH DRESSED POULTRY 
GRADED EGGS - WHOLESALE & RETAIL 

Custom Dressing by Appointment 

Faultless (Brand) Feeds 

Dr. Legear's Livestock & Poultry Remedies 

TIMMONS PRODUCE 



MONTICELLO, ILL. 



PHONE 7671 



COMPLIMENTS OF 



Compliments of 



THE EISNER FOOD STORE 

MONTICELLO, ILLINOIS 
"We offer S & H Green Stamps" 



THE 
VIO BIN CORPORATION 

MONTICELLO, ILLINOIS 



CHELNETT OIL COMPANY 

Forest Preserve Parkway 

PHONE 8106 MONTICELLO 

Gasoline - Oils - Greases - Brake Work 
Nash Automobile Agency 

Auto Repair Work - Agricultural Chemicals 
Airplane Spraying 



NEL- MAC'S 
SUPER MARKET 

Open 7 Days — 7 A.M. - 10 P.M. 

Complete Line of Groceries and 
Fresh Meats 

MONTICELLO, ILLINOIS 



MINORS 
UPHOLSTERING SHOP 

Dial 7831 For Free Estimates 
We Pick Up and Deliver 

E. SIDE SQ. MONTICELLO, ILLINOIS 



BURGIN BROS. 

Men's Clothing - Home Furnishings 

105-07 S. State Phone 5476 

MONTICELLO, ILLINOIS 



for four times), Mattie Body, 
Nellie Corwin, Floy Hawver, Ar- 
bie Hawver (Worthy Patron for 
15 times), Mrs. Rose Stewart, 
and Grace LeFever. 

The membership of Ivy Leaf 
Chapter has grown from the orig- 
inal 14 to the present membership 
of 129. The present members wish 
to express their thanks to those 
14 people who 67 years ago had 
the initiative to undertake the re- 
sponsibility of starting an East- 
ern Star Chapter in Bement. 
The present officers are: 
Virgie Brittenham 
Worthy Matron 
Lynn Peterson 

Worthy Patron 
Opal Hill 

Associate Matron 
Louis Miller 

Associate Patron 
Emma Peterson 

Secretary 
Selda Miller 
Treasurer 
Ruchiel Born 

Conductress 
Berniece Wildman 

Associate Conductress 
Nora Buckner 

Chaplain 
Mary Hillis Totten 

Marshal 
Gloria Larson 

Organist 
Mollie VanGorder 

Adah 
Cora Fish 

Ruth 
Challice Larson 

Esther 
Lillie Larson 

Martha 
Alva Miles 

Electa 
Lucia Day 
Warder 
Harley Miles 

Sentinel 
Betty Miller 
Instructress 
Eastern Star meetings are held 
on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of 
each month. 



ODD FELLOWS LODGE 

Irwin Lodge, No. 344, Bement, 
Illinois, I. O. O. F. was Instituted 
by Charter duly granted by the 
R. W. Grand Lodge of the State 
of Illinois, with the following as 
charter members: R. F. Jones, 
Aaron Misenhelter, D. C. Moffit, 
E. O. Wallace, Peter Caughen- 
baugh, and J. N. Bills, bearing 
the date of October 9, 1867. 



The first meeting of the Lodge 
however had been held earlier 
that year in February (1867), 
when the following were elected 
and installed into their respec- 
tive offices: E. O. Wallace (Noble 
Grand), J. N. Bills {Vice Grand), 
R. F. Jones (Rec. Sec'y), Peter 
Caughenbaugh (Treasurer). The 
installing officer was Grand Mas- 
ter Herr. After installation the 
following were admitted to mem- 
bership: C. Schoolcraft, Samuel 
Dearing, Joseph W. Fristoe, J. 
A. Force, C. Newton, Wm. L. 
Finley, John Hughes, H. A. 
Starks, and Peter Shaffer by a 
Dispensation duly granted by 
G M. 

Elmer Bentley has held the of- 
fice of Noble Grand the past year 
and the following are the officers 
for the coming year: Ed Busick 
(Noble Grand), Delmar Bentley 
(Vice Grand), Marion Bentley 
(Secretary), Elmer Bentley (Fi- 
nancial Secretary), and Fred 
Klump (Treasurer). They have 
regular meetings each Friday 
night with the County meeting 
on the third Monday of each 
month. 



BRYANT MEMORIAL 
REBEKAH LODGE No. 65 

Bryant Memorial R e b e k a h 
Lodge No. 65 was instituted on 
Nov. 8, 1950 in the Legion Hall 
at Bement. 

Mildred Lebdusha, President of 
the Rebekah State Assembly of 
Illinois presented her staff of As- 
sembly Officers who instituted 
the Bement Lodge with forty- 
three members signing the regis- 
ter and becoming charter mem- 



bers. 

Cerro Gordo Rebekah Degree 
Staff conferred the degree on the 
new candidates. Those entering 
from other lodges were: 

Betty Malohn (Monticello), 
Katherine Baird and Charles 
Baird (Assumption), Isabelle 
Shonkwiler and Elmer Bentley 
(by dismissal certificate, having 
been members in good standing 
in the disbanded Rebekah Lodge 
688 of Bement), Opal Hixon (At- 
wood), and Florence Vaughn 
(Carthage, 111.). 

The first officers elected on 
Nov. 8, 1950 were : 
Katherine Baird 

Noble Grand 
Betty Malohn 
Vice Grand 
Ruth Wright 

Recording Secretary 
Catherine McCullom 
Finance Secretary 
Edith Allison 
Treasurer 
Appointed Officers were: 
Ida Bentley 

Warden 
Opal Hixon 

Conductor 
Isabelle Shonkwiler 

Chaplain 
Frances Bentley 

Inside Guardian 
Bernice Englehart 

Outside Guardian 
Mary Neal 

R. S. to N. G. 
Elma Spearman 
R. S. to V. G. 
Alberta McVicker 

L. S. to N. G. 

Sadie Shepherd 

L. S. to V. G. 




Women of the Rebekah Lodge at the Centennial Kick-Off Dinner 



J. B. RINEHART 
REALTOR 

REALTY INVESTMENTS 

208 W. Main St. 
MONTICELLO, ILLINOIS 


PIATT COUNTY 
JOURNAL 

MONTICELLO, ILLINOIS 

Serving Piatt County Since 1856 


EAST END TAVERN 

BEER - WINES - LIQUORS 
PACKAGE GOODS 

MONTICELLO ILLINOIS 


Compliments of 

CARL S. REED 
INSURANCE AGENCY 1 

Dighton Bldg. — West Side Square 
MONTICELLO, ILL. PHONE 3171 


CONGRATULATIONS 

TO 

BEMENT 

FIRST STATE BANK 
OF MONTICELLO 

MEMBER F. D. 1. C. 


OEHMKES IGA 
SUPER-MARKET 

MONTICELLO, ILLINOIS 
"The Best In Foods For Less" 


MEET YOUR FRIENDS 
AT 

CLODFELTERS 
RESTAURANT 

MONTICELLO, ILLINOIS 

i • , 


ALLEN RADIO 
and ELECTRIC 

216 W. Washington St. 
MONTICELLO, ILL. PHONE 5961 

DuMont Television - Apex Washers & Dryers 
Electrical Work - Gibson Appliances 



The State President, Mildred 
Lebdusha, appointed Mabel 
Quayle of Decatur to act as spe- 
cial deputy for the lodge, which 
she held until 1954. Jane Gross 
of Cerro Gordo was the next ap- 
pointed deputy, and Ruth Jones 
of Gerro Gordo is the present 
deputy. 

Bryant Memorial No. 65 be- 
longs to the 18th District of the 
Rebekah Lodge of Illinois. They 
hold their meetings on the 2nd 
and 4th Monday nights of each 
month. There are 46 members at 
the present time: 41 Sisters, and 
5 Brothers. They have lost three 
members by death: John Neal, 
Willis Harshbarger, and Opal 
Hixon (past Noble Grand). 

The Lodge helps to support the 
Odd Fellows Home in Mattoon, 
111., and The Children's Home in 
Lincoln, 111. The latest achieve- 
ment was to help prepare and 
serve the Bement Centennial 
Kick-Off Banquet to 550 people. 
It was a great success, and the 
members were happy to have 
been a part. They are striving for 
more members to make their 
lodge stronger and Bement a bet- 
ter place in which to live through 
Rebekah Odd Fellowship. 

The present officers of the Re- 
bekah Lodge are: 

Marcalene Lamb, Jr. 

Past Noble Grand 
Gladys Webb 

Noble Grand 
Sadie Shepherd 

Vice Grand 
Evelyn Fair 

Recording Secretary 
Clova Smith 

Financial Secretary 
Vula Durbin 

Treasurer 
Appointed Officers: 
Eileen McCullough 

Conductor 
Bonnie Allison 

Warden 
Viola Adams 

Chaplain 
Edna Lash 

R. S. to N. G. 
Olive Larimore 

L. S. to N. G. 
Fern* Wildman 

R. S. to V. G. 
Ruth Abel 

L. S. to V. G. 
Hazel Liestman 

Inside Guardian 
Dorothy Miles 

Outside Guardian 




BEMENT LIONS CLUB 

The Bement Lions Club was 
first organized February 11, 1931. 
The first officers were: 
Dr. W. G. McPherson, 

President 
H. E. Slusser, 

1st Vice-Pres. 
J. B. Byerline, 

2nd Vice-Pres. 
A. C. McDowell, 
Sec'y & Treas. 
P. E. Peterson, 
Tail Twister 
Rex Millikin, 
Lion Tamer 
Other charter members were: 
Rev. N. C. Griffin, Shirley Engle, 
L. D. Pfoff, L. A. Hodam, An- 
drew Swenson, E. E. Logan, 
Clyde Hill, A. T. McPherson, J. F. 
Sprague, D. E. Godfrey, W. W. 
Davis, Harry Hill, H. E. Dare, J. 
H. Malkus, and Chas. Baker. 

Three of the original charter 
members, Dr. W. G. McPherson, 
L. A. Hodam, and H. E. Slusser 
are still members of the club. On 
May 31, 1936 the charter of this 
club was cancelled. 

In 1941 the Bement Lions 
Club was again organized 
through the efforts of the late 
Andrew Swenson and other civic 
minded men of the community. 
Harry C. Roberts was elected 
president of the newly organized 
club and the charter night ban- 
quet was held at the Methodist 
church on Wednesday evening, 
May 21, 1941 with 49 charter 
members. 

Today the Lions Club has 78 
members and boasts of being the 
largest small town Lions Club in 
its district. The club has played 
a vital and active role in the civic 
affairs of Bement and the sur- 



rounding community. In 1949 
the Bement Lions Club organized 
the first Little League baseball 
team in the community, baseball 
for boys age 8 through 12. It ac- 
tively sponsors this recreation 
for boys every summer. About 50 
Bement boys participate in this 
baseball program each year. The 
club was responsible for sending 
a High School boy to Boys State 
for a week during the summer for 
several years. The club also 
stages the annual Halloween pa- 
rade and has long sponsored Be- 
ment's traditional football ban- 
quet. 

The Bement Lions Club is a 
part of the International Associa- 
tion of Lions Clubs, the largest 
service club organization in the 
w<?rld, with over half a million 
members in 11,335 clubs in 65 
countries of the world. 

Presidents of the Bement Lions 
Club since it was reorganized in 
1941 are: Harry C. Roberts, Lew 
Wilkinson, E. A. Stout, A. E. 
Bodman, L. A. Hodam, H. E. 
Slusser, Roy B. Jones, George 
Wilkinson, R. N. Holloway, David 
P. Marker, John J. Glennon, 
Lynn Crook, James D. Raglan, 
and Carl J. Edwards. 

The following are officers for 
the coming year: 

Glen Durbin 
President 

Frank Yeates 
1st Vice-Pres. 

John W. Walsh 
2nd Vice-Pres. 

Joseph Foster 
Sec'y & Treas. 

Stanley Powell 
Tail Twister 

Wyman Patterson 
Lion Tamer 



Best Wishes 
SHOP IN COMFORT AT 

EAGAN AND SON 

AIR CONDITIONED 

SUPER WAY GROCERY 

Phone 4141 Atwood, lllnois 



CONGRATULATIONS 

Chapman Implement Company 

Minneapolis-Moline Sales and Service 
PHONE 2131 ATWOOD, ILLINOIS 



LUCILLE WILLIAMSON 

CLOTHING - NOTIONS 



PHONE 3453 



Atwood, Illinois 



GOOD WISHES TO THE 



BEMENT CENTENNIAL 



ATWOOD TAVERN 



Atwood, Illinois 



Atwood Grain & Supply Co. 

Grain, Feed, Seed, Fertilizer 

PHONE 2341 ATWOOD, ILLINOIS 

George L. Kiley, Mgr. 



Best Wishes for a 
Successful Centennial 

ATWOOD MEAT MARKET 

Vern Cordts, Prop. 
PHONE 3321 ATWOOD, ILLINOIS 



BEST WISHES 
FOR THE NEXT 100 YEARS 

Davis Motor Sales & Service 

DESOTO 

PHONE 3881 ATWOOD, ILL. 



BEST WISHES ON YOUR 



CENTENNIAL 



BIRCH WELDING SERVICE 

Atwood, Illinois 



LITTLE LEAGUE baseball 
was founded by Carl E. Stotz in 
Williamsport, Pa. in 1939 and the 
sport spread westward from the 
Atlantic coast until today it is 
one of the fastest growing boy's 
activities in the country. It is 
regulation baseball but played on 
a 60-foot diamond and limited to 
boys between the ages of 8 
through 12. Little League base- 
ball has been described as Big 
League baseball adapted to the 
mental and physical capacities of 
the boys of America. 

The Bement Lions Club organ- 
ized the first Little League team 
in 1949 and the response of the 
boys was so enthusiastic that 
the club has sponsored the ac- 
tivity ever since. Bement was 
one of the early communities in 



the area to have Little League 
baseball. 

Boys out for the sport are di- 
vided into two groups in Bement: 
the Major League Lions team 
for the older, more experienced 
boys; and three Minor League 
teams for beginning players. The 
Major League team is coached 
by Dean Stout, assisted by Don 
Stout. The three Minor League 
teams are the All Stars, coached 
by Gene Holloway, assisted by 
Francis Speltz ; the Reds, coached 
by Frank Yeates, assisted by 
Ronnie Robbins; and the Blues, 
coached by Linzey Corum. All 
Bement teams play a regular 
schedule of baseball in the Cham- 
Piatt League, consisting of Ives- 
dale, Sadorus, Pesotum, Mahomet 
and Bement. 



1 



?<** 



<•"• 



9%fMd?f?fi?f 




-AMERICAN LEGION POST_ 

Albert Parker Post No. 620, 
the American Legion, was named 
for Sgt. Albert H. Parker, Co. 
B, 5th Machine Gun Battalion, 
U. S. A., the son of Mr. and 
Mrs. R. T. Parker, Bement, Illi- 
nois, who was killed in action in 
France on November 5, 1918. 

The Charter of the Post was 
issued on the 28th day of April, 
1920 with the following listed as 
charter members: 

Francis E. Morrow 

Elmer Haynes 

Percy H. Hill 

Frank Flavin 

George L. Clark 

Eugene D. Evans 

Olin L. Day 

John S. Carlin 

Elmer L. Kelly 

T. R. Clark 

C. E. Morrow 

L. L. High 

Roy A. McKinney 

J. A. Muthersbaugh 

Paul R. Flowers 



The present officers of the 
Post are: 

Napoleon Jackson, Command- 
er. 

William W. Redman, Vice- 
Commander 

Bryan Wilson, Finance Officer 

Ralph E. Wright, Adjutant. 

The Post at this time has 90 
members. 

In 1946 the Post purchased the 
building located on East Bodman 
Street, Bement, which had for- 
merly been occupied by Andrew 
Swenson's Furniture Store and 
Funeral Establishment. The 
building is made available for the 
use without cost to Albert Par- 
ker Unit No. 620, the Amer- 
ican Legion Auxiliary and the lo- 
cal unit of Mothers of World 
War II, as well as to local civic 
and religious meetings. A num- 
ber of the members of the Post 
have been Commanders of the 
Piatt County Council of The 
American Legion and one mem. 
ber, Bryan Wilson, has been 19th 
District Commander. 




The Post has been active in sup- 
port of civic events and improve- 
ments in the community and 
makes an annual presentation of 
the American Legion school 
award to one boy and one girl 
graduating from the grade 
school. 



AMERICAN LEGION 
AUXILIARY 

The "White House," now the 
residence of R. E. Hardin, was the 
scene of much activity on May 13, 
1931 when 20 patriotic women of 
the Bement community took the 
initial steps necessary in organ- 
izing the American Legion Aux- 
iliary to Albert Parker Post 620 
of Bement, Illinois. 

This exclusive group, all eligi- 
ble for membership, through 
Father, Son, Brother, or Hus- 
band, dedicated themselves to 
unselfish service "To God and 
Country." 

The charter was signed on 
July 31, 1931. 

To commemorate this first 
meeting of these women at the 
"White House" an annual Lunch- 
eon is held each year in May, for 
all members and their guests, 
thus keeping the memories and 
incidents of that first meeting 
alive. 

The charter officers were: 
Lissie M. Crookshank 

President 
Opal Fisher 

1st Vice-Pres. 
Goldia Peterson 
2nd Vice-Pres. 
Stella Moore 
Secretary 
Ruth Patterson 

Treasurer 
Bertha Parker* 

Chaplain 
Marie Harden 
Sergeant-at-Arms 
Other charter members were: 
Rose Biggs*, Julia Brya, Alta 



Congratulations to Bement 
on your Centennial 

Pierson Grain & Supply Co. 

Pierson Station, III. 


COMPLIMENTS OF 

ABES TAVERN 

Hammond, Illinois 


CONGRATULATIONS 

LONGS CHEVROLET 

HAMMOND, ILL. 
Phone 2651 


COMPLIMENTS OF 

FEDERAL - NORTH 
IOWA GRAIN CO. 

HAMMOND, ILLINOIS 


Congratulations to a 
Prospering Community 

BROWN AND HIS "BROWNIES" 

Brown's Hdwe. & Supply 

PHONE 2351 HAMMOND, ILLINOIS 
PLUMBING & HEATING 


LOCATED AT 

108 W. WASHINGTON STREET 
MONTICELLO, ILLINOIS 

O. L. CLINE AND DONN PIAtT 

d/b/a 

BURGESS & CLINE 

INSURANCE - ALL KINDS 

PIATT COUNTY LOAN ASSN. 

LOANS & SAVINGS 




"White House- 



Clark, Maxine Clark, Ruby Clark, 
Naoma Cole*, Lelah Lamb, Ida 
Long*, Jennie Nash*, Johanna 
Peterson*, Olive Reddin, Edith 
Wallace, Maggie White* 
(* Deceased.) 

From the original 20 members 
who signed the Constitution, the 
Legion Auxiliary has maintained 
a steady growth in membership, 
ever adding to their roster all eli- 
gible women who desire to be as- 
sociated with the Legion Auxil- 
iary, and membership now stands 
at 92. Regular meetings are held 
on the 3rd Friday of each month. 
The Aims and Services of the 
Auxiliary are to promote Child 
Welfare and Rehabilitation. The 
local unit has done this in the 
following ways: 

By distributing books and pa- 
triotic literature in the pub- 
lic schools and library. 
By encouraging school children 
to write and submit essays 
on important matters per- 
taining to Americanism. 
By contributing to the Na- 
tional Organization towards 
establishing auxiliary loan 
funds for education of orph- 
ans of veterans to further 
their education, and for 
scholarships which are avail- 
able to pupils who strive for 
higher learning. 
By sending a High School 
Junior girl of outstanding 
traits to Girls State at Mac- 
Murray College in Jackson- 
ville for one week to studv 
and learn the ways of good 
government. 
By selling the "Miracle Flower 
of Flanders Field," namely 
the poppy. 
By promoting and encouraging 
students to enter the Poppy 
Poster Contests. 



By contributions and services 
rendered to the Veterans 
Hospital at Danville. 
The present officers are: 
Mrs. Wayne R'edman 

President 
Mrs. Louis Miller 

1st Vice-Pres. 
Mrs. Clyde Wrench 

2nd Vice-Pres. 
£rs. T. R. Clark 

Secretary 
Mrs. Ward Dare 

Treasurer 
Mrs. Harry Lamb 

Chaplain 
Mrs. Loren Hampton 

Sergeant-at-Arms 
Mrs. Harold Wittig 
Sergeant-at-Arms 
The following are Gold Star 
members: Mrs. Edna Bruce, Mrs. 
Eva Buxton, Mrs. Ray Kintner, 
Mrs. Thilda Larson, Mrs. James 
Raglan, Mrs. Charles Ray, Mrs. 
Scott Sutphen, Mrs. S. O. Turner. 



HOME BUREAU IN BEMENT 

The birth of the home eco- 
nomic extension work in Bement 
and Piatt County was accom- 
plished by women who had read 
in the papers of the activities of 
such organizations in other 
counties. 

Through the efforts of these 
ladies, with the help of the Farm 
Adviser at that time, Mr. S. S. 
Davis; and the assistance of the 
home extension staff of the Uni- 
versity of Illinois, Home Bureau 
organization was planned and 
started. At the time it seemed 
best for Douglas and Piatt coun- 
ties to organize together. 

On August 14, 1930 the first 
meeting was held at the Atwood 
High School with Mrs. S. T. 
Veach presiding. There were 103 



in attendance. It was voted that 
these two counties organize to- 
gether as the "Douglas-Piatt 
Home Bureau." The first officers 
were: 

President — Mrs. John Mc- 

Carty, Douglas 
1st Vice-Pres. — Mrs. Charles 

Blickensderfer, Piatt 
2nd Vice-Pres. — Mrs. Lester 

Smith, Douglas 
Secretary — Mrs. J. E. Miller, 

Piatt 
The purpose of the organiza- 
tion was to interest all the ladies 
of the communities in worth- 
while activities and to develop 
leadership. 

The aims of the Home Bureau 
are as follows : 

To Have Every Home: 
Economically Sound 
Mechanically Convenient 
Mentally Stimulating 
Morally Wholesome 
Artistically Satisfying 
Physically Healthy 
Socially Responsible 
Spiritually Inspiring 
Founded Upon Mutual Affec- 
tion and Respect. 
By 1937 the membership had 
increased until it was necessary 
to separate the counties into two 
organizations. 

A meeting was held December 
1, 1937 in the Monticello High 
School with 200 ladies present. 
Mrs. .Frank LeFever of Milmine 
presided. Officers were elected to 
serve until September 1, 1938. 
There were twelve original units 
in the Piatt County organization: 
Bement, Bethel, Blue Ridge, Cen- 
terville, Cerro Gordo, Cisco, Ham- 
mond, Lodge, Milmine, Monti- 
cello, R. F. D., and Voorhies. 

The following women have 
served as Home Advisers: 

Miss Mary Duckworth 1930-32 
Miss Christy Hepler 1933-35 
Miss Lucille Gring 1935-36 
Miss Lucille Swenson 1937-41 
Miss Bernice Smith 1941-42 
Miss Lorennie Berry 1942- 
The interest in Home Bureau 
work has increased thru the years 
and at the present time there are 
18 units in Piatt County with a 
membership of 432 plus 20 as- 
sociate members. 

The Home Bureau has been re- 
sponsible for the starting of vari- 
ous 4-H Clubs, Better Leader- 
ship, Greater Participation in 
Community Affairs, and a Broad- 
er World Vision. 

The University of Illinois Ex- 
tension Service and Home Dem- 



CONGRATULATIONS 
BEMENT 

JOS. KUHN & CO. 

Champaign 


M. J. REED, JEWELER 

Champaign, Illinois 
14 Main Street 


SHELBY MOTORS 

408-12 S. NEIL CHAMPAIGN, ILL 

Dodge - Plymouth Dealers 
Sales and Service 

24 HOUR SERVICE — WRECKER SERVICE 


W. LEWIS & CO. 

Champaign's Leading 
Department Store 


Champaign's Leading 

House Furnishing 

— House — 

Grand Leading Furniture Center 

Charlie Hirschfeld 


Two Go&d Things In Illinois 

CORN 

AND 

RELIABLE FURNITURE CO. 

Champaign, Illinois 


OWENS FUNERAL HOME 

CHAMPAIGN, ILLINOIS 
Phone 8672 Air Conditioned 


WORDEN - MARTIN, INC. 

j£fk 

Cgfy 
Packard - Hudson 

__ | 



onstration Work makes it possi- 
ble for members to continue 
Home Economics Studies in their 
local groups under University 
guidance. 

Many interesting reports of 
Home Bureau accomplishments 
are given each year during Farm 
& Home Week at the U. of I. 




a- » mr?i kkx rrxyrrrrOnfft ft H"H W"* 



BEMENT SENIOR WOMAN'S 
CLUB 

Fifty-nine years ago, the Be- 
ment (Senior) Woman's Club 
was organized on a beautiful Oc- 
tober day in 1896. Of the ten 
charter members, four served as 
president: Mrs. Fred Unholtz, 
Mrs. J. F. Knapp, Mrs. W. W. 
Hammond, and Mrs. L. H. Al- 
vord. The other charter mem- 
bers were: Mrs. Albert Boggs, 
Mrs. Edith Burks (now Mrs. Ed- 
ward Back), Mrs. Clara Conroy, 
Mrs. Tracy Holland, Miss Helen 
Thompon, and Mrs. S. K. Bod- 
man. Later after the county and 
19th District were duly organ- 
ized, the Bement Club was Fed- 
erated and in 1929 they joined 
the General Federation of Wom- 
an's Clubs — an International 
Federation. 

From the first, education and 
social life were stressed. Later 
civic and community problems 
were undertaken. The library 
has been the outstanding work 
of the club since its organiza- 
tion. For many years, Mrs. W. 
G. Cloyd headed the Library 
Committee, .and year after year 
helped to keep tl • library open 
until the township voted a Li- 
brary Tax and a librarian was 
hired. Most of the members 
helped in some way and collected 
and donated books and maga- 
zines. 

Other presidents of the club 
have been: Mrs. Hudson Martin, 
Mrs. Charles Lamb, Mrs. J. L. 
Bodman, Mrs. J. C. Evans, Mrs. 
E. H. Camp, Mrs. W. A. Ham- 



mond, Mrs. H. Schwab, Mrs. A. 
L. Wilkinson, Mrs. H. E. Shaw, 
Miss Annie Mitchell, Mrs. An- 
drew Swenson, Miss Rebecca 
Clark, Mrs. W. W. Davis, Miss 
Kathryn B. Fisher, Mrs. A. L. 
Pelton, Mrs. Carl Thompson, 
Mrs. Fletcher Beck, Mrs. Darl 
Evans, Miss Minnie Fisher, Mrs. 
J. R. Bower, Mrs. E. E. Folk, 
Mrs. S. M. Postlewait, Mrs. W. 
G. McPherson, Mrs. Roy B. 
Jones, Mrs. C. J. Tinkham, Mrs. 
E. C. Haynes, Mrs. A. T. Mc- 
Pherson, Mrs. E. S. Bodman, 
Mrs. Margaret Cloyd Wilson, 
Mrs. Rex. Millikin, Mrs. Urban 
Kottler, Mrs. Frank Bryan, Mrs. 
J. F. Sprague, Mrs. G. L. Bur- 
gess, Mrs. Fred Dabler and Mrs. 
R. H. Smith, Mrs. J. B. Byer- 
line, Mrs. Harry Roberts, Mrs. 
Clarence Lefever, Mrs. L. A. 
Hodam, Mrs. Lucy Moore, Mrs. 
Blake Livingston. Mrs. Living* 
ston is the president for the 
1955-56 term. 

There are five members who 
have been in the club for over 




\ **^y^ V ; 




BEMENT JUNIOR WOMAN'S 

CLUB (EVENING WOMAN'S 

CLUB) 

The Bement Junior Woman's 
Club was organized in December, 
1928, at the home of Mrs. Nellie 
McPherson, who was elected 
sponsor and later elected to life 
membership. The presidents have 
been as follows: Mrs. Mary 
Glynn Bleitz, Mrs. Thelma Priest- 
ly Durbin, Mrs. Beulah Fay Hill. 
Mrs. Cecelia Farrell Sinkevitch, 
Mrs. Lucille Madden Coffin, Mrs. 
Jeanette Piggott Henebry, Mrs. 
Lotha Lowman Clark, Mrs. Alice 



40 years, served as president, 
and have been made life mem- 
bers: Mrs. J. L. Bodman, Mrs. 
W. A. Hammond, Mrs. A. L. Pel- 
ton, Mrs. A. L. Wilkinson, and 
the late Mrs. Andrew Swenson. 
National Authors' Day which 
is widely observed throughout 
the United States had its birth 
in Bement. The original reso- 
lution was submitted by Nellie 
Verne Burt McPherson while she 
was president of the Bement 
Woman's Club. It was sponsored 
by the local club, the Piatt Coun- 
ty Federation, the 19th District, 
State and National Organiza- 
tions. The resolution was pre- 
sented to the National Conven- 
tion where it was adopted May 
31, 1929, and the date of No- 
vember 1 was set aside for its 
observance. The purpose of Na- 
tional Authors' Day is "To show 
patriotism and appreciation to 
those who have given us a liter- 
ature, and to encourage and in- 
spire others to lend their talents 
in making a better America." 

Haynes Merry, Mrs. Leona Hol- 
loway, Miss Helen Monaghan, 
Mrs. Dorothy Moore Vander- 
creek, Mrs. Jeanne Edwards 
Jones, Mrs. Ellen Morris, and 
Miss Marian Bloomer. 

The Junior Club was District 
and State Federated in 1929 and 
joined the General Federation of 
Women's Clubs in 1944 as a Sen- 
ior Woman's Club, changing 
their name to the Evening Wom- 
an's Club — with the same ob- 
jective and motto: "Greater spir- 
itual development in that service 
that will aid the recipient and 
strengthen the giver." 

The meetings are held on the 
fourth Monday of each monLh 
from September through April 
at 7:45 P. M. at the High School. 
Some of their special interests 
have been: The Bement Library 
with a donation of 100 books the 
first year; National Author's 
Day with special programs and 
in 1932 a special radio broad- 
cast by the Club Chorus and 
members; 19th District Scholar- 
ship Fund with donations each 
year — the first student to use 
this fund was Mildred Wrench 
while a member of this club; 
and musical scholarships for 
high school students. They also 
have donated to the County 
Nursing Home, Bement Red 
Cross. March of Dimes, Boy and 



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Girl Scouts, and the Bement Cen- 
tennial Committee. This year 
they plan to sponsor ,a Centen- 
nial Luncheon to honor Mrs. 
Helen Chapman, International 
President of the General Federa- 
tion of Women's Clubs. 

The following women have 
been made Life Members in 
recognition of 25 years or more 
of continuous membership: Mar- 
guerite Allen, Lotha Clark, Guy- 
nell Creel, Irene Durbin, Thelma 
Durbin, Helen Fay, Beulah Hill, 
Helen Jeffers, .and Nellie Mc- 
Pherson. 




BEMENT 
TOWNSHIP LIBRARY 

Literary Societies and "schools 
for polemics" were active in Be- 
ment's very early years. In the 
fall of 1866, at a meeting of one 
of these societies, a suggestion 
was made that a society be or- 
ganized for general reading, and 
the Tableau Society pledged its 
funds to such an enterprise. In 
the pursuance of the suggestion, 
a public meeting was held with 
George L. Spear as chairman. 
The meeting was poorly attended, 
but an association was formed 
and $134. was subscribed for the 
purchase of books. A constitu- 
tion was adopted in December, 
1866, and the following officers 
were elected: Mr. George L. 
Spear, president; Mr. R. S. Hop- 
kins, 1st vice-president; Joseph 
Bodman, treasurer, and H. A. 
Coffeen, librarian. With funds 
from dues, private contributions, 
and a series of lectures, the li- 
brary was well started. 

On May 29, 1877, James S. 
Peairs, Robert Fisher, P. A. Dun- 
can, N. N. Vance, John R. Klapp, 
T. Sterling, Jessie Hughes, Anna 
Dunn, Geneva Dunn, Henry N. 
Camp, G. A. Stadler, and Ada 
Newton applied for incorporation 
of "The Bement Literary and 



Library Association, the business 
and object of which shall be in- 
tellectual, social and moral im- 
provement of its members and 
the community at large, the same 
to be under the direction and con- 
trol of (7) seven directors, the 
names of whom as selected for 
the first year are Thomas Lamb, 
Hortense Klapp, Wm. G. Cloyd, 
Anna Dunn, Robert Fisher, Mary 
Thomas, ad Curtis J. Hinman." 

In addition to regular meet- 
ings, this group of younger men 
and women presented programs 
of readings, essays, debates, dra- 
matics and music for the public 
and without doubt they aided the 
library financially. Perhaps they 
were not single-minded enough, 
because on September 26, 1878, 
at which time there were 914 vol- 
umes on the shelves, a petition 
for incorporation of "The Libra- 
ry Association of Bement," sign- 
ed by L. W. Bodman, B. B. Bacon, 
F. E. Bryant, S. K. Bodman, Jo- 
seph Bodman, and D. W. C. Niles, 
all older men, was forwarded to 
the Secretary of State; and the 
"Library Association of Bement" 
was chartered September 27, 1878. 
The directors were: Chas. F. Ten- 
ney, Joseph Bodman, A. D. New- 
ton, L. W. Bodman, Lucy F. 
Knapp, and Clara Bodman. By 
paying $10.00, one became a life 
member and paid no dues; $5.00 
made one an elector, with dues 
of 50c a year; annual members 
paid $1.00. The rest of the money 
was raised by subscription. The 
library was open for two hours 
on Saturday afternoon. Two 
books a week were allowed to 
each member. In 1893, with 1214 
volumes, and a circulation of 3000 
books a year, it was, according 
to Miss Emma Piatt, "by far the 
best in the county." 

In 1897, the newly organized 
Woman's Club took over the 
books belonging to the Bement 
Library Arsociation, as it was 
called, continuing it as a subscrip- 
tion library — one dollar a year. 
Until 1910, it was housed in a 
room in the First National Bank 
Building, given rent free by Mr. 
W. M. Camp. When remodeling 
was done, it moved to the Loud- 
enback building, staying there 
for more than a year. Then it 
moved to another rent-free room, 
an inside room over the State 
Bank, offered by Mr. H. E. Shaw. 
Mr. George Thompson shared the 
heat of his office, which was an 
adjoining room, and a coal oil 



lamp furnished light. 

In April 1912, a one mill tax 
proposition for a free township 
library was defeated by 212 votes. 
The next November, Rev. Shirley 
and Rev. Enninger secured sub- 
scriptions from the business and 
professional men which enabled 
the club to buy and equip a read- 
ing table and keep the library 
open one afternoon and two eve- 
nings a week for a year. After 
that, the dollars from readers, 
part of the Club dues, and the 
proceeds from the sale of waste 
paper an entertainment, two 
waffle suppers, a chicken frv, 
and a Christmas sale paid the 
rent and bought books. Mr. J. F. 
Sprague made no charge for the 
coal and the librarians made their 
own fires, carried out the ashes, 
and swept the floors. Other club 
members helped with periodical 
heavy cleaning. 

In 1920, books were borrowed 
from the Illinois State Library 
Extension Division, and the libra- 
ry was made free. In 1921, after 
a tax proposal was again defeat- 
ed, it was closed and the books 
were stored. Three yars later it 
was reopened with the State 
books, in a grade school base- 
ment room, with Woman's Club 
members taking turns as librar- 
ian. One year Mrs. Nellie Mc- 
Pherson stayed every Saturday; 
and for another year and more 
the every-member system was 
used again. Mrs. W. G. Cloyd 
headed the Library Committee, 
and year after year helped to 
keep the library open. 

In 1936, the tax proposal car- 
ried and the following were elect- 
ed as the first Library Board: 
Mrs. J. L. Bodman, Mrs. Clarence 
Funk, Mrs. W. G. McPherson, 
Kenneth Burgess, Arbie Hawver, 
and George Larson. They immed- 
iately commenced work on the 
project of getting a library start- 
ed. The first floor of the Masonic 
Building was leased and remod- 
eled. During the summer of 1938, 
Mrs. Fred Lux and Miss Wilma 
Lux sorted, repaired and cata- 
logued the old books. Miss Mer- 
rett Winegarner was employed as 
librarian. She was followed by 
Mrs. Berlyn Leach, Mrs. Lyle 
Stotts, Miss Sybil Romack, and 
again by Mrs. Lyle Stotts. On 
April 1, 1946, Mrs. Charles Pier- 
son became librarian and re- 
mained until the time of her 
death in the fall of 1954. Many of 
our children have benefitted from 




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her helpful and patient service. 
Mrs. Stotts, who had returned as 
Mrs. Pierson's assistant, was ap- 
pointed to take her place. Her as- 
sistant is Mrs. Arthur Edwards. 

Three of the six original mem- 
bers, Mrs. J. L. Bodman, Mrs. W. 
G. McPherson, and George Lar- 
son are still on the board. Charles 
Ball replaced Arbie Hawver, and 
Roy B. Jones replaced Mr. Ball. 
This spring (1955) Mrs. Walter 
Morris and Mrs. R. R. Siders Jr. 
were elected to take the places of 
Mrs. Clarence Funk and Kenneth 
Burgess. Mr. Larson has been the 
secretary of the board since its 
beginning. 

At the time of the opening, 
there were about 1000 volumes 
on the shelves. There are now 
8102 (5483 adult aiH 2619 chil- 
drens), and 38 magazines and 
newspapers, (30 for adults and 
8 for children). There are 1215 
borrowers (610 adults and 605 
children). 




PARENT-TEACHERS 
ASSOCIATION 

The Bement Parent-Teachers 
Association was granted a char- 
ter by the Illinois Congress of 
Parents and Teachers on Dec. 4, 
1935. This organization was ac- 
tive until 1940, when the charter 
was dropped. 

The P.T.A. was reorganized at 
a meeting held in the High School 
Gym on January 6, 1949. Eighty- 
four persons attended this meet- 
ing, and seventy-five agreed to 
become members of the new or- 
ganization. 

The following officers were 
elected : 

Mrs. Blake Livingston, 

President 
Elmer Larimore, 
1st. Vice-Pres. 



Mrs. Zelma Morris, 

2nd Vice-Pres. 
Wilbur Hawbaker, 

Secretary 
Mrs. Joe DeFore, 
Treasurer 
The second Thursday of each 
month was selected as the regu- 
lar meeting date. 

The objects of P.T.A. are : 

To promote the welfare of 

children and youth in 

home, school, church, and 

community. 

To raise the standards of 

home life. 
To secure adequate laws for 
the care and protection of 
children and youth. 
To bring into closer relation 
the home and the school, 
that parents and teachers 
may cooperate intelligent- 
ly in the training of the 
child. 
To develop between educa- 
tors and the general pub- 
lic such united efforts as 
will secure for every child 
the highest advantages in 
physical, mental, social, 
and spiritual education. 
The Bement P.T.A. is now a 
part of the National Congress of 
Parents and Teachers as well as 
the State group. In 1950, the Illi- 
nois State Congress of P.T.A. 
started a "Golden Jubilee Scholar- 
ship." The Bement P.T.A. has 
contributed towards this scholar- 
ship since that time and Bement 
has been very fortunate in hav- 
ing two of their youths selected 
for this honor. Miss Phyllis Mur- 
phy was awarded the first "Gold- 
en Jubilee Scholarship" awarded 
in 1950, and this year, Miss Fran- 
ces Dick has received the scholar- 
ship. This is a $1000 scholarship, 
awarded for one year, and re- 
newed for three years at the rate 
of $250 annually if the grades of 
the student are satisfactory. 

The following have served as 
president of the P.T.A.: Mrs. 
Blake Livingston, Mrs. John 
Glennon, Mrs. Lynn Born, Mrs. 
Walter Morris, Mrs. Alfred L. 
Moore, Mrs. Willard Morris, Mrs. 
Roy Fay. 

The officers for the coming 
years are as follows: 

Eugene Wright, President 
Mrs. Joe Tracy, Vice-Pres. 
Mrs. Elton Haynes, Secy. 
J. K. Steidinger, Treasurer 




BOY SCOUTS 

Boy Scouting was renewed in 
Bement in 1950. Since that time 
there have been approximately 
150 boys in Cub Scouts. Boy 
Scouts, and Explorer Scouts par- 
ticipating in a very active pro- 
gram. 

The aims of scouting are to 
provide a healthy outdoor pro- 
gram for all the boys who wish 
it, to help in training boys to 
work and play together in a har- 
monious manner, and to help in 
training boys to become useful 
citizens. How well these aims are 
accomplished depends on the 
work and cooperation of the boys, 
the boys' parents, the sponsor- 
ing organization, the troop com- 
mittee, the leaders, and the sup- 
port of the rest of the citizens of 
the community. 

Bement Boy Scout Troop No. 
58 is sponsored by the Inter- 
Church Council with the follow- 
ing as the Troop Committee: R. 
N. Holloway, Chairman; E. A. 
Stout, Rev. D. Ross Fleming, 
Rev. Clyde E. West, and Glen 
Durbin. The Scoutmaster is 
Frank Yeates. There are 35 boys 
in the Scout Troop at the present 
time. The highlight of the Boy 
Scout program this Centennial 
year will be a 15 day camping 
trip to Yellowstone National 
Park. There will be 26 boys and 
8 adults leaving on this trip the 
15th of August. 

The Cub Scout program in Be- 
ment is sponsored by the P. T. A. 
with the following: as the Troon 
Committee: S. Royal, Edward 
Masters, Robert Harper, Don 
Haws, and Raymond Dick. Ray 
Robbins also attends the com- 
mittee meetings as the represen- 
tative of the P. T. A. There are 
26 boys in Cub Scouts at this 
time. John Pope serves as Cub- 
master, and Milford Bentley as 
assistant Cubmaster. Den Moth- 
ers are: Mrs. Dave Marker, Mrs. 
Loren Ball, Mrs. Ray Carpenter, 
Mrs. Don Haws, and Mrs. Lester 
Hord. 



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The highlight for the Cub 
Scouts this year was their Spring 
Carnival which was a big suc- 
cess. It displayed the great 
amount of time and .work spent 
by the boys, the Den Mothers, the 
Cubmasters, and the Pack Com- 
mittee, 




GIRL SCOUTS 

The Bement Girl Scouts were 
reorganized in August of 1951. 
They received their charter and 
became a member of the Na- 
tional Organization in November 
of the same year. 

The purpose of Girl Scouting 
is to teach the girls to be self- 
reliant, to enjoy the great out- 
of-doors, to be useful, and to be- 
come better citizens. These are 
all accomplished by the help of 
the girl's parents, the commun- 
ity, the sponsoring organization, 
the troop committee, and the 
leaders. 

Girl Scout Lone Troop No. 1 
is sponsored by the P.T.A. with 
the following as the Troop Com- 
mittee: Mrs. Clarence Janes, Mrs. 
Wm. Scott, Mrs. Lewis McVick- 
er, Mrs. Allen Mardis, and Frank 
Yeates. There are 39 girls in 
the Scout program at the present 
time. Mrs. Frank Yeates and 
Mrs. H. M. Vandercreek serve as 
the Girl Scout Leaders, and Mrs. 
Art Knowles is the Assistant 
Leader. 

Some of the highlights of Girl 
Scouting in Bement this past year 
were the Christmas Ornaments 
and Gift Project, their cook-outs, 
hikes, and of course their Girl 
Scout Summer Camp. 




Bottom row from the left: Fanny Smith, Eva Kimmel, Cora Niles, and Mae 

Muthersbough. 
2nd row from the left: Dora Trabue (Groves), next two people have not been 

identified, Lena Winestein, Ada Ruby (Burke-Back), and Ellen Evans. 
3rd row from the left: Anna Pettit, Geneva Dunn (Hicks), Nettie Brooks (Body) 

and Mabel Tenney (Ricketts). 
This picture taken about 1880. 




Bottom row — from the left: C. L. Body, Joe Dill, Romie Winestein. 

2nd row from the left: Will Ruby, Amos Show, Bert Force, Harve Muthersbough, 

Norman Camp, and Al Ricketts. 

3rd row from the left: Doctor Trabue, Byron Dyarman, George Lewis, Marsh 

Bridges, and Isaac Scott. 

This picture was taken about 1880. 



October 12, 1909 — Buster 
Brown and his dog Tige were at 
W. W. Body's store in Bement. 

A ledger kept by S. K. Bodman 
in 1865-66 gave these prices : Coal 
Oil, $1.00 per gallon; Linseed Oil, 
$2.00 per gallon; White Lead, 
14c per lb.; Quinine, $3.50 per 
ounce. 



Oct. 10, 1901 — The new ce- 
ment sidewalks being put in this 
week on Bodman street, from L. 
H. Alvords grocery west to 
Rhode's saloon, and in front of 
the post office and Lancaster and 
Oldridge's barber shop, is a much 
needed improvement and one 
which should be extended 



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HISTORY OF THE PRACTICE 
OF MEDICINE 

The life of a medical practi- 
tioner in a newly settled country 
was generally one of toil and 
hardship; compensation was us- 
ually meager and however ex- 
tensive the physician's practice 
might have been, much of it was 
gratuitously rendered because of 
the poverty of his patients. A 
few bushels of potatoes or win- 
ter vegetables, a barrel of apples 
or freshly butchered meat were 
often taken in lieu of money. 
Truly, this was the day of the 
horse and buggy doctor, for he 
drove over bad roads and forded 
streams as he shivered under his 
buffalo robe. 

Many of those early doctors 
who ministered to the sick in this 
community were not graduates 
of any medical institution and 
today would not be recognized 
as competent physicians, but 
they exercised what knowledge 
they had in the interest of suf- 
fering humanity, and deserve 
credit for what they did. 



THE MEDICAL PROFESSION 
IN BEMENT 

Bement's First Doctor 

Dr. John R. Klapp, graduate 
physician, farmer and Supervisor 
wins this honor, for he was liv- 
ing on a farm southeast of Be- 
ment and served the sick in 1856. 
He was a native of Ohio, born 
in 1812. Dr. Klapp moved to 
Texas in 1889 and later moved 
to Salina, Kansas where he died 
in 1894. He and his wife and 
two daughters are buried in Be- 
ment. 

Dr. John H. Leal was in the 
village in 1857, and must have 
been above the average, for he 
was considered the best surgeon 
in the county. Dr. Leal moved 
to California in 1871. 

Dr. John H. Taylor, one of the 
county's oldest settlers, was Dr. 
Leal's partner for seven years 
until he left Bement in 1868. 

Dr. John Scott was a resident 
of Bement until 1875, when he 
moved to Kentucky, but it is 
thought that he didn't practice 
medicine while in Bement as he 
was engaged in looking after his 
farming interests. 

Dr. Margaret Ferguson Routh, 



a pioneer mother and physician 
was a remarkable woman. She 
did not graduate from medical 
school, but did study children's 
diseases mainly for the purpose 
of successfully raising her own 
children. When widowed she 
moved to the Bement commun- 
ity. People came to her, for med- 
ical advice and treatment, and 
although she never weighed over 
100 lbs., she rode horseback all 
over the territory, including the 
Lake Fork district, fifteen miles 
from her home. She died in Be- 
ment in 1903 at the age of 84. 

The Piatt County Democrat of 
August 6, 1859, published the 
following notice: "J. W. Law- 
rence, M.D. has located in Be- 
ment." There is no other in- 
formation available, so it is 
thought that he didn't stay in 
Bement for long. 

Dr. Chipman had his card in 
the papers of March 4, 1865, 
claiming to be a late surgeon of 
the Army, with a cure for the 
"Ager". He advertised that he 
would be in the Floyd House at 
Monticello every Saturday all 
day and spend the rest of the 
time in Bement. 



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R. R. Siders 
Ralph R. Siders, Jr. — Dan F. Siders 



Dr. Noah Noble Vance was 
born in Newport, Kentucky, 
March 20, 1845, and later moved 
to Indiana. In the Civil War he 
served with the "Bloody" 123rd 
Regiment. Dr. Vance graduated 
from the Cincinnati Medical Col- 
lege in March, 1868. His wife 
was Fanny Routh, daughter of 
Dr. Routh. They were married 
in Bement Dec. 24, 1872. To 
them were born five sons : Walter 
Noble; William Baker; Harvey 
Marshal, M.D. ; James St. Clair, 
M.D.; and George Edward. 

Dr. Vance first located in Cerro 
Gordo, and later moved to Be- 
ment where he was a partner of 
Dr. Leal for a short time. Dr. 
Vance had a large practice, but 
was poorly paid because he was 
the quiet unassuming type that 
hated to ask people for money. 
He was a natural surgeon, and 
having no hospital to aid him 
often used his own home for a 
hospital. — Harvey Fay, for 
years Piatt County Clerk, had 
his arm torn off by a corn shred- 
der and Dr. Vance took care of 
him. His son Noble, in a letter 
describes the case as follows: "I 
remember the calm skill with 
which Dad cooly, yet quickly did 
that terrible amputation on Har- 
vey; with the tissues pulled clear 
from the middle of his back, and 
his arm chewed up to the shoul- 
der; later I remember the 



'*-! 

i 


SSL ,.;,. . 



Dr. and Mrs. N. N. Vance 

strained, driven sort of look and 
unskillful sort of trembling way 
he nipped the first skin graft off 
my arm, as well as off Harvey's 
good arm, in his effort to get 
the skin to cover up that shoul- 
der; after the first graft Dad 
was alright, and today no scar 
can be found on me except for 
the first one." 

January 15, 1879, Dr. Vance 
and his family moved to Texas 
but later returned to Bement. 
In 1881 Dr. Vance was appointed 
Wabash Surgeon, and was elect- 
ed president of the County Med- 
ical Society, when it was reor- 
ganized in 1904. He died May 
10, 1916, at the age of 71. 

Dr. Joel J. Parker came about 
1870, and stayed several years. 



He was classed as a good doctor, 
but was inclined to get nervous 
and excited over a patient's con- 
dition. He had "Vapor Baths" 
which he used in his practice, 
but it is stated that no one re- 
membered taking one. In fact 
Bement probably preferred the 
washtub by the kitchen stove on 
Saturday night. He left Bement 
about 1878. 

Dr. William S. Ruby was a 
Civil War veteran, a scout and 
spy in the conflict. He came to 
Bement in 1870 to practice 
homeopathy. Many stories were 
told about this man, and opinions 
differ. For example, we are told 
that he was in the penitentiary 
for murder; another says he was 
being taken to the pen when he 
jumped out of the car window, 
swam a river and enlisted in the 
Union Army. He did shoot John 
Cole in Bement, who died some 
weeks later, but Ruby was ac- 
quitted on grounds of self-de- 
fense. Dr. Ruby had a drug store 
and as did most of the rest in 
those days, sold whiskey. A 
clerk slept in the back room at 
night; a tap was heard on the 
window, it was raised slightly 
and a hand with 50 cents came 
in, a pint went out, that's all 
... In 1888 he moved to Cali- 
fornia where he later shot him- 
self in 1896. 

Dr. George P. Ruby was a 



Miss Nellie Alvord and her Orchestra 




W. K. STRACK & SON 

Pump Sales & Service 

Wiring & Plumbing 

CHRYSLER AIRTEMP 
HEATING and AIR CONDITIONING 

Phone: Monticello 5766 


COMPLIMENTS OF . . . 

BEMENT POST OFFICE 

Postmaster, Ruth L. Patterson 

Clerks — Margaret L. Marker, Don B. Kitson 

Substitute Clerk — Opal K. Fisher 

City Carrier — Robert D. Curry 

Substitute City Carriers — Eugene Corum, Jim 

Clark, Jerry Stout 
Rural Carriers — Kermit E. Body, Francis H. 

Doty 
Substitute Rural Carriers — Frank H. Lux, Dio 

P. Rittenhouse 
Messenger — Tom T. Fisher 


Representing: 

Cargill Hybrid Corn 

GUS WALL 

HARRISON CLIFTON 

LYNN BORN 

DAVE MARKER 

JOHN MARKER 

ROBERT GREGG 


BEST WISHES 

TO 

BEMENT 

ON ITS 100th BIRTHDAY 

"Service Is Our Business" 

Carpenter's Shell Service 

BEMENT ILLINOIS 

Raymond Carpenter . . . Dean Wright 


THE ATWOOD STATE BANK 

"A Good Little Bank" 

L. S. Collins, President Wilbur Beery, Cashier 

At wood, Illinois 

Member Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation 


Monticello 
Chamber of Commerce 

SALUTES BEMENT 
ON ITS CENTENNIAL 



graduate of the New York Home- 
opathic School in 1877; was in 
Monticello as an eye and ear man 
as well as general practice. He 
moved to Bement, where he 
stayed two years, and during the 
two years he had eight runaways 
and ruined three buggies. He 
died in the Jacksonville Hospital 
in the nineties. 

Dr. W. W. Nelson came in 
1875, stayed two months and 
moved on to Missouri. 

Dr. R. Fisher located here in 
1877, but no doubt the "Practice 
Act" ruined him the same year. 

Dr. John W. Smith, graduate 
of Jefferson Medical came in 
1882, but after a short stay 
moved to South Dakota. 

Dr. J. R. Nelson opened a drug 
store in Bement in 1877. He 
was a cripple due to tuberculosis 
of one foot and ankle, and this 
caused his death Jan. 31, 1879 
at the age of thirty-three. 

Dr. A. C. Douglas of Decatur, 
a graduate of Rush in 1865 
bought the drug store and moved 
to Bement April 1, 1879. He 
left in 1884 and moved to Lake 
City and still later to Minnesota. 

Dr. David B. Hawks — Little is 
known of this man, but in an old 
newspaper dated 1877. a report 
was shown that Dr. Hawks, at 
that time fifty-seven years old 
was found in a critical condition 
in his office. Old settlers re- 
ported that he was a drug user. 
He died March 28, 1889, aged 
sixty-nine. 

Dr. Alanson Stockwell came to 
Bement after forty-eight years 
of practice to retire. This was 
in the year 1878. He died Dec. 
8, 1879 and is buried in the Be- 
ment Cemetery. 

Dr. P. A. Rosenberger came 
to Bement Feb. 19, 1879. Ac- 
cording to the papers, he came 
highly recommended but that is 
all we know of him. 

Dr. Edward Swaney came to 
Bement with his bride (Miss 
Emily Camp of a prominent Be- 
ment family) from Ohio, about 
1870. He was president of the 
village board in the eighties — a 
great hunter and real sportsman. 
He died in 1891. 

Dr. Lyman T. Gregory, home- 
opathic physician located in Be- 
ment in 1883, but soon moved 
to Lovington where he lived for 
years before moving to Cali- 
fornia. 

Dr. E. H. Graves was born in 
1849 and came to Bement in 



1884. He left several times go- 
ing to Boody, Bethany and once 
to Arkansas, but always returned 
to Bement. Here he died in 1909 
at the age of sixty. Dr. Graves 
was a man of deep religious con- 
victions; a foe of liquor and vice 
in general and probably hurt his 
business by being a little too 
militant, too free to express his 
views on these subjects. 

Dr. H. H. Hall, a homeopath 
came from Taylorville in 1888. 
He was a big man with brown 
whiskers, and a man of great 
dignity. While in Bement he 
was following the fad of the 
homeopaths of that time, of cur- 
ing most diseases by using rectal 
dilators on their patients. He 
later got into trouble for selling 
whiskey. He was acquitted in 
the Justice of Peace Court, but 
when the State's Attorney got 
busy Hall skipped out, not both- 
ering to take his furniture. 

Dr. M. D. Cook — He was not 
a graduate, but practiced some. 
He was so good that he told the 
exact time a certain patient 
would die — and she did, proving 
that Doc was a good guesser . . ! 
His other stock in trade was 
well-digging and he was just as 
proficient in that art as in medi- 
cine, perhaps more so . . . 



Doctor's Fee Bill (From Be- 
ment Register — April 21, 1904). 
On and after May 1, 1904, we 
the undersigned physicians of 
Bement will charge for our serv- 
ices according to the following 
fee bill: 

For office examinations and 
medicine, not less than 50c 

Single visits in town $ 1.50 

Night visits in town, be-, 
tween 10 P. M. and 

6 A. M $ 2.00 

Extra patients in same 

family 50c to $ 1.00 

Day riding, $2.00 for first 
mile and 50c for each 
additional mile. 
Night riding, $2.00 for 
first mile and $1.00 
for each additional mile. 
Obstetrics, uncomplicated $10.00 
Detained services in ob- 
stetrics over five hours, 
$1.00 per extra hour. 
Delivery by turning, 

or forceps $15.00 to $20.00 

Consultation visits $10.00 

Minor surgical 

operations $1.00 to $5.00 

Gonarrhea — $5.00 in ad- 
vance and $1.00 for each 
additional prescription. 

Fractures $10.00 to $25.00 

Administering chloroform 

or ether $ 5.00 to $10.00 

All fees considered due when 
services are rendered. 









THE BEMENT BAND— 1903 

Reading from left to right: 1st row — F. L. McClure, Bert Pryor, Herbert B. 

Schuh. 
2nd row — Earl Bowyer, Troy Medaris, Harry Loudenback, M. C. Campbell, 

A. S. Ward. 
3rd row — Director Alexander, S. W. Bodman, Charles Pope, Andrew Swenson, 

L. L. Byerline, R. R. Siders, Dr. Albright. 
4th row — W. A. Steele, E. B. Sprague, Dr. J. G. Bauer, Darl Evans, Cyrus Bruce, 

Walter Dawson. 



COMPLIMENTS 



Alblinger Bros. Hdwe. Co. 

IVESDALE, ILLINOIS 
Phone 4-3500 

Plumbing - Heating - Appliances 
Hardware 

Maytag Washers 

Rheem Water Heaters 
Philco Refrigerators 
Sunbeam Appliances 



U.S. ROYAL 



AND 



ARMSTRONG 



TIRES and TUBES 
FACTORY DISTRIBUTORS 



IBS' 

ITIRESI 



WE HAVE 
A COMPLETE 
TIRE SERVICE 




WHEEL BALANCING 

VULCANIZING — RETREADING 

SEAT COVERS - MUFFLERS 

ACCESSORIES 

FOR ROAD SERVICE 

Dial 2-7137 

SMITH TIRE CO. 

257 W. MAIN — DECATUR, ILL. 

You Always Buy Better At Smith's 



aII&m you tuxctxy weatitty la- 





GREAT 




■ 1 



COAL 



: 0m 




GLEN DURBIN, Manager 
TELEPHONE: 2311 
BEMENT, ILLINOIS 



9 Less than a bushel of ash to a ton 
• For automatic stokers or hand firing 



Dr. Albert L. Trabue was born 
in Indiana, but came to Bement 
when he was a boy. He studied 
medicine and practiced in Kan- 
sas before returning to f Bement. 
He always enjoyed a good prac- 
tice when not whipped out by 
"King Alky," and had quit many 
times on account of it. 

Dr. Martin Van Buren Turley, 
tiring of Cerro Gordo, came to 
Bement in 1889, but after one 
year left. He must have tired 
of Bement also. 

Dr. Louis S. Kelly, who grad- 
uated as a homeopath in New 
York in 1891, was here for a 
short time but moved to Chicago 
where he was proprietor of the 
Ogden House. 

Dr. J. D. Donavan, "A New 
Allopath Doctor," came in 1896, 
then moved to Lake City and 
later to Lovington. 

Dr. Charles W. Geiger, Home- 
opath of Paxton, came in 1896 
and stayed until 1903 when he 
moved to Gilman and then to 
Kankakee. 

Dr. Amos Thatcher N o e, 
nephew of Dr. O. D. Noe grad- 
uated from the Missouri Home- 
opathic in 1885, came to Bement 
in 1896, and then later moved 
to California. 

Dr. Charles A. Walton located 
in Bement in 1898. He built up 
a good practice and remained un- 
til 1903, when he grew a crop 
of whiskers and started out on 
the road making one day stands 
as a "Specialist" traveling out 
of Chicago. 

Dr. Warren Gordon McPherson 
— We are dealing with the pre- 
sent when we arrive at this well 
known physician. He was born 
near Neoga, Illinois, March 30, 
1875. He graduated from the 
Chicago Medical in 1901 and 
came to Bement where he 
has been ever since. History 



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1898-99 BEMENT FOOTBALL TEAM 

Reading from left to right — Front row: Carl Thompson, James Lamb. 

2nd row: Millard Brown, James Sine, Charles McGaffey, Douglas Sine, Ray 

Moore. 
3rd row: Henry Scott, Charles Ball, St. Clair Vance. 
4th row: Willard Bower. 



must say that he has been suc- 
cessful, medically and financial- 
ly, being a farm owner and a 
very busy doctor. 

Dr. McPherson married Miss 
Lula Delp, who died of heart dis- 
ease in 1912, leaving one daugh- 
ter, Helen. In 1914, he married 
Mrs. Grace Rothmeyer, who died 
in 1921 of tuberculosis. In 1923 
he married Miss Ethel Rose of 
Bement, and a son and a daugh- 
ter have been born to this union. 
The doctor belongs to the Coun- 
ty, State and American Medical 
Associations, and during World 
War I served on the Exemption 
Board with Allen F. Moore and 
Carl S. Reed. He succeeded Dr. 
Vance as Wabash Surgeon at Be- 
ment. The doctor has served 
many times on the school board 
of Bement, and has been a reg- 
ular follower of the high school 




OLD THRESHING RING 

Willis Carter, Engineer — Roy Carter with team — Ira Arthur at the blower 
Edgar Carter, feeder. 



teams in defeat or victory . . . 

Dr. Albert Leroy Ward was 
born in Missouri in 1870,, mov- 
ing to LeRoy, Illinois when a 
small boy. He came to Bement 
in 1903 from Milmine. He was 
of slight build but was a hustler 
and successful in his business. In 
1911, he invested his money in 
the Wabash Life Insurance Com- 
pany of Danville, became the 
medical director, but it proved a 
failure. He moved to Decatur 
where he died of typhoid fever 
in 1917 at the age of forty-seven. 

Dr. Alva G. Foster, a Christian 
minister graduated in medicine 
at the P. & S. of St. Louis, when 
thirty-five. He located here in 
1903, but soon moved to Deca- 
tur, where he advertised a cure 
for the liquor habit. He was 
still in Decatur in 1915, but there 
the trail ends . . . 

Dr. Harvey Marshall Vance, a 
native of Bement practiced here 
only a few months in 1915 when 
he took care of Dr. McPherson's 
practice. He was born in 1878, 
son of Dr. N. N. Vance. He lived 
in the west, but was buried at 
Bement in 1918 after his death 
from influenza. 

Dr. Weldon Kilton came to Be- 
ment after his graduation at the 
Bennett Medical School, Chicago, 
1907. He soon moved to Harvel, 
Illinois, where he remained for a 
number of years and later moved 
to Sujlivan. 

Dr. Albert Field was born in 



CONGRATULATIONS TO BEMENT FOR ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF PROGRESS 

A. E. Staley Mfg. Co. Bement Grain Co. 



Processors of corn and soybeans, pro- 
viding a market for the grain of local 
farms. 



Handlers of all farm grains and farm 
merchandise with complete grinding 
and mixing services. 



Manufacturers of: Dealers for: 

STALEY'S Hi-efficiency Feeds STALEY'S Hi-efficiency Feeds 

Working together for farm prosperity during the second century. 




m mm- m 




THE 



STATE BANK 



of 



HAMMOND 



WITH TRUST POWERS 



Canada in 1870, graduated in 
Chicago in 1904, and on Feb. 1, 
1913, came to Bement as a part- 
ner of Dr. Ward. He remained 
until he enlisted in World War 
I. He settled in Chicago after 
the war. 

Dr. J. O. Baldwin took the of- 
fice of Dr. Field but did not re- 
main long. 

Dr. Henry J. Hollison, a home- 
opath, graduated from Herring 
Medical in Chicago in 1906, came 
to Bement in 1916, and remained 
until he entered the service. Lat- 
er he went to California. 

Dr. James St. Clair Vance, son 
of Dr. N. N. Vance was born in 
Bement in 1882. He graduated 
at Northwestern in 1910, was in 
the service at Panama a num- 
ber of years, but returned in 1917 
to be with his sick father. He 
had his office in the Telephone 
Building. He was elected Secre- 
tary and Treasurer of the Coun- 
ty Medical Society and was a 
popular man among his fellow 
physicians. After his father died, 
he again went to Panama, and 
later to Los Angeles, California. 

There was also a Dr. Edding- 
ton and his wife, Dr. Murtell 
M. Eddington, who located in Be- 
ment for the practice of medi- 
cine, but we don't have the date 
of arrival or any other informa- 
tion about them. It is thought 
that they were here around 1912. 

Dr. Vigo T. Turley was a na- 
tive of Indiana, where he was 
born in 1893. He came to Illi- 
nois to study medicine, graduat- 
ing at Hahnemann in 1918. He 
came to Bement soon after and 
stayed until 1929, when he moved 
to Decatur. 

Dr. Warren E. Burgett took 
over the practice of Dr. Turley 
in the fall of 1929, coming from 



Onarga where he had been for 
ten years. He graduated at 
Louisville in 1886, where he prac- 
ticed for a number of years. 

Dr. A. M. Bruner, a native of 
Topeka, Kansas, attended the 
University of Illinois for pre- 
medical course, graduating in 
1924. He graduated from the 
University of Illinois Medical 
School in Chicago in 1929, going 
to the Methodist Hospital in In- 
dianapolis for his internship. 
Following this he was with a 
clinic at Muskegon, Michigan for 
one year and then with the U. 
of I. Health Service in Cham- 
paign for one year before com- 
ing to Bement, where he opened 
his office on the 16th of August, 
1932. He sold his practice to 
Dr. Wm. Scott in November of 
1946. At the present time he 
is practicing at Monticello, 111. 

Dr. M. F. Speltz came to Be- 
ment and opened an office for 
the general practice of Osteo- 
pathy in May, 1938. Dr. Speltz 
was born in Minnesota where he 
graduated from Holy Trinity 
High School at Rollingstone, 
Minnesota. He attended the Wi- 



nona State Teachers College and 
the University of Minnesota and 
taught school for one year be- 
fore entering the Kirksville Col- 
lege of Osteopathy and Surgery 
where he graduated in 1935. 
After graduation, he came to De- 
catur to assist a physician who 
was temporarily ill, and it was 
at this time that he became in- 
terested in Bement. He came to 
Bement in 1938, after spending 
2V2 yrars on the sta. p f of a Sani- 
torium in New York. 

Dr. William M. Scott, the only 
active M.D. at this time was a 
graduate of the Monticello High 
School. He went to the Univer- 
sity of Illinois in Champaign for 
his pre-medical course and grad- 
uated from the Northwestern 
Medical School in 1938. After 
serving his internship at the 
Methodist Hospital in Indianap- 
olis, he started his practice in 
Sullivan, Illinois in 1939. He 
closed his office in Sullivan dur- 
ing the war when he went into 
the military service. Upon his 
release in 1946, he opened his 
office here in Bement. 




Digging a well on old school grounds. 
(1894) 




A. M. Totten Cutting Wheat about 1898. Left to right are: Dee Jackson, Ezra 1 
Fuqua, Earl Totten, A. M. Totten, and Frank Totten on the binder. 



Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Swenson 




CONGRATULATIONS BEMENT 
ON YOUR CENTENNIAL 

R. C. MILLER - MONTICELLO W. C. MILLER - BEMENT 

PHONE 2144 PHONE 4901 



THE LEGION AND 

LEGION AUXILIARY 

SALUTE BEMENT 

ON ITS 100th ANNIVERSARY 

AND AS WE SALUTE ITS PAST . . . MAY YOU LOOK FORWARD 
TO AN EVEN GREATER FUTURE 

ALBERT PARKER POST 620 and 
AMERICAN LEGION AUXILIARY 

of 
BEMENT, ILLINOIS 



PRE-CENTENNIAL KICK OFF 

Honor guests at the Kick-off dinner 
were seven residents of the area who 
are 85 years of age or older. They were 
introduced by Charles Strohl and were 
given a round of applause when they 
stood in response to the introduction. 
Six of them are shown in the above 
picture but unfortunately, Mrs. Harry 
Eaton, 86, who was seated two or 
three chairs away, did not get in the 
picture. In the picture left to right 
are seated: Mrs. William Schwartz 
(86), Mr. William Schwartz (84), Mrs. 
Cynthia Shepherd (87)*, Miss Clara 
Hyatt (94), Standing— N. P. (Nick) 
Kelly (90), James Palmer (86), Frank 
Lefever (86), and Mrs. Sarah Miles 
Kirkland (84). (*Deceased) 
A list of those invited but unable to 
be present were: Elmer Spear (93), 
George Jackson (94), Miss Clara Bod- 
man (88), Joseph C. Ford (88), John 
Sebens (88), Mrs. Mary Fahrnkopf 
(91), Reuben Adkins (87), Wm. Mus- 
son (87), Mrs. Minnie Slagle (87), 
John Metzger (86), Urban Kotter (86), 
W. A. Hammond (85), .... George 
Tucker, Mrs. Dodd, Mrs. Edith Stone, 
L. D. Pitts, and Tom Holden whose 
ages we do not have. 



PRE-CENTENNIAL KICK OFF 



-*%V ~~~ *W~* 





:/- v , v. ^. '-'.*«- 



"Let Me Call You Sweetheart" — A group of sweethearts led by song leader James 
Raglan and accompanied by Stanley Powell at the Hammond organ. This was j^ r ant j M rs Robert Fisher at Be- 
just part of the fun at Bement's Big- Centennial Kick-Off Dinner. ment's Centennial Kick-off Dinner. 



0. R. SLAGLE 

Bement, Illinois Phone 5251 
Authorized 

SALES «« SERVICE 

Your Ford Dealer 
For the Past 20 Years 


WELCOME TO . . . 

THE DRIVE INN 

On Route 105 

BEMENT, ILLINOIS 

— Air Conditioned — 

JUST GOOD FOOD 

Open Every Day Including Sundays 

"Norm" Edwards, Prop. 


CENTENNIAL CONGRATULATIONS 

DR. M. F. SPELTZ 

OSTEOPATHIC PHYSICIAN 

BEMENT, ILLINOIS 


Compliments of 

HIXSONS BARBER SHOP 

1 BLOCK WEST OF ST. MICHAEL'S CHURCH 

In Bement Since 1937 


Congratulations to Bement 

for the first 

1.00 Years 

MINTUNS GARAGE 

24 Hour Wrecker Service 
Dial 2751 


Compliments of 

The TURNERS 

(DALE AND ALVA) 

PAINTERS & DECORATORS 

PHONE 4823 BEMENT, ILLINOIS 


Compliments of 

RALPH E. HARDEN 

(BABE WHITE) 
GENERAL PLUMBING 

PHONE 2291 

"Visit Our Curiosity Shop 
When Visiting Bement" 


Compliments of 

WILLARD E. MORTON 

BEMENT, ILLINOIS 
PHONE 4132 

Dealer for . . . 

CROW'S HYBRID SEED CORN CO. 

and 
NUVAR SEED ASSN. 

Oats and Bean Seed and Chemicals 



In the center of the Centennial Seal is a drawing of the Bryant Cottage, 
now a State Lincoln-Douglas Memorial, and an outline of the monu- 
ment between Bement and Monticello where Lincoln and Douglas 
met in 1858 and agreed to confer that evening in the Bryant Cottage 
to make arrangements for their now famous debates. The hands with 
their broken chains are symbolic of the theme of the Centennial — 
"Can the World Exist Half Slave and Half Free." 




Mrs. Francis Phillips, winner of the Centennial Seal Contest. In addi- 
tion to designing the Official Centennial Seal, Mrs. Phillips created 
the art work and illustrations in this book. 



KICK-OFF DINNER 

Monday evening April 11, 1955 
will not soon be forgotten by the 
550 persons who gathered in Be- 
ment's spacious new high school 
gym for the Centennial Kick-Off 
Dinner. 

The setting for the dinner was 
beautiful. Long banquet tables 
with red, white, and blue run- 
ners the entire length of each ta- 
ble, lighted by old kerosene lamps 
(90 of them) which were brought 
out from their hiding places and 
donated by the owners for use 
at the dinner, a covered wagon 
scene painted by Mrs. Harold 
Wallace at the north end of the 
gym, and a back drop scene made 
by the Industrial Arts Class, un- 
der the supervision of James 
Coleman, back of the speaker's 
stand with the words across the 
top "WithoMalice Toward None", 
and the large replica of the Lin- 
coln-Douglas pryamid with the 
Centennial-Seal on each panel — 
these were the major decorations. 

It was a festive scene, with 
most of the diners in centennial 
attire, the women in charming 



gowns and bonnets, some old, 
some new, but all reflecting the 
fashions of yesteryear ; the 
bearded men in frock coats, fan- 
cy vests and ties of a past era. 
Add to this the happy, smiling 
faces, the sparkle and laughter 
and you have the whole picture. 
Edgar S. Bodman gave the in- 
vocation preceding the dinner. 

The delicious three course din- 
ner was served under the direc- 
tion of Norman Edwards with 
the members of Bryant Memorial 
Rebekah Lodge and other volun- 
teer workers assisting. On the 
menu was shrimp cocktail, relish 
plate, baked ham with raisin 
sauce, sweet potatoes, fresh froz- 
en peas, combination salad, cof- 
fee, rolls, butter, apple pie with 
cheese, nuts and mints. 

The speaker's table was deco- 
rated with two flower arrange- 
ments donated by Mrs. Earl Lin- 
cicum, who used red, white and 
blue petunias in covered wagon 
containers, one drawn by oxen, 
the other by plug horses. Beauti- 
ful dinner music was provided by 
Stanley Powell on the Hammond 



The Bement Lions Club start- 
ed the ball rolling towards a Cen- 
tennial Celebration several years 
ago when they helped start the 
Annual Bement Community Re- 
union on Memorial Day, 1952. 
The same year they helped make 
plans with Monticello for annual 
4th of July Celebrations to be 
held in Bement one year and 
Monticello the next. This was 
planned so that we would have 
the 4th of July Celebration dur- 
ing our Centennial Year — 1955. 

In the spring of 1954, the 
Lions Club gave a Home-Talent 
Variety Show (giving two per- 
formances in Bement, and two 
performances in Ivesdale) to 
raise money for the purpose of 
a Centennial Celebration in Be- 
ment during the year 1955. They 
raised $805.44 which they turned 
over to the Bement Centennial 
Corporation on Dec. 8, 1954. 
They also appointed a committee 
to make a survey for the pur- 
poses of underwriting the ex- 
pense of a centennial. During 
this drive they secured $2925 in 
notes, which they turned over to 
the Centennial Corporation to be 
used if necesary. 

On October 12, 1954, Lions 
Club President Carl J. Edwards, 
called a community meeting to 
see if the people of Bement want- 
ed to celebrate their 100th birth- 
day. As a result of this meeting 
and others which followed, the 
Bement Centennial Board was 
organized and the final arrange- 
ments were made. Our thanks 
go to the Lion's Club for the 
boost they gave our Centennial 
Celebration. 

Organ preceding and during the 
dinner. 

Charles Strohl, toastmaster, 
called the group to order by ring- 
ing a bell — the same bell used 
by Henry C. Booth who served 
as the first teacher in Bement 
during the winter term of 1856. 

Honor guests at the dinner 
were men and women of the area 
who were 85 years old or older, 
all of whom stood and took a 
bow when Mr. Strohl introduced 
them to the crowd. Next came 
group singings of old songs led 
by James D. Raglan. Mr. Strohl 
then read messages of congratu- 
lations and best wishes from Gov. 
Stratton, Vice-president Richard 
Nixon, and a telegram from 
President Dwight D. Eisenhower. 
Mr. Strohl then introduced Clark 
Plummer, Chairman of the Be- 



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ment Centennial Coporation, who 
extended a hearty welcome to all 
and expressed thanks for the co- 
operation received from the peo- 
ple of the community. 

Ron Holloway made the pre- 
sentations of awards to the win- 
ners in the Centennial Seal Con- 
test. A $25 Savings Bond was 
presented to Mrs. Francis Phil- 
lips for designing the Official 
Centennial Seal. The Harold 
Barnhart family were winners of 
the second prize; and Rev. V. J. 
Liss received third prize. 

Mr. Harry E. Slusser spoke on 
why we are having a Centennial 
Celebration. Mr. Slusser gave 
three reasons for celebrating the 
Centennial: First, to fulfill our 
obligation to those who have 
gone before and to the genera- 
tion that is coming on; Second, 




Bement Family Group — Ready for the Bement Centennial is the three-generation 
Siders family shown here. Senior members are Mr. and Mrs. Ray Siders, center; 
their sons, Ralph R. Jr., left and Dan, right. Others are, from left, Mrs. Ralph 
Siders Jr., Kent and Steve Siders, sons of the Dan Siders, and Mrs. Dan Siders. 
Front, Carol and Sue, daughters of the Ralph Siders. 











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Group at Speakers Table for Kick-Off Dinner 



George Wilkinson 



to have a lot of fun; Third, to 
obtain a better place in which 
to live with a fine community 
spirit. In closing, Mr. Slusser 
said: "Let us have all the fun 
we can — and may it be said that 
the Bement Community is just a 
little better because we have 
lived in it." 

Mr. Lew Wilkinson was intro- 
duced and explained the mechan- 
ics of the Centennial Celebration, 
with the aid of a large chart 
showing the various committees 
and committee chairmen. 

Mr. Strohl closed by .remind- 
ing everyone that these plans are 
the civic responsibility of every- 
one, and that it isn't what the 
Centennial will cost that you 
must consider, but what it will 
cost you, if we fail as a com- 
munity. 




Exchanging Centennial recipes at the Kick-Off Dinner were these charming 
ladies: Mrs. Gail Olsen, wife of the Cerro Gordo Centennial Chairman, at the 
left; Mrs. Ruth Bell in the center, and Mrs. Margaret Wright, both of Bement. 



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BEMENT'S TOWN MEETING 



"Our country is the world — 

Our countrymen are all mankind." 

William Lloyd Gamison- 



-1837 



Birthdays come to all of us, as 
individuals, and to our towns, 
states, and nations. Centennials 
come only once in a life-time. 
And every now and then we sigh 
with relief and shout, "Thank 
Goodness!" 

If Bement's 100th birthday 
was to have more than passing 



"Carleton, this must be 'an ad- 
venture in faith'." Illness pre- 
vented his coming, and our neigh- 
bor, Charles B. Shuman, head of 
the American Farm Bureau Fed- 
eration, substituted. Then, came 
Senator Alexander Wiley, Repub- 
lican head of the Foreign Rela- 
tions Committee, Wendell WTI- 



significance, it needed something kie's son, Philip, Norman Thomas, 



in addition to our historical pag- 
eant and the customary activ- 
ities of other mid-Western towns. 
It should have something distinc- 
tive, some theme which would 
make its mark on contemporary 
political life, as did the historic 
debate agreement of Lincoln and 
Douglas in 1858. 

Professor Arnold J. Toynbee, 
the eminent historian, gave his 
advice. After telling him Be- 
ment's history, I asked him what 
he thought the people of other 
countries would be most interest- 
ed in hearing discussed today. He 
replied, "Actually, the challenge 
is the same now as when Lincoln 
debated Douglas. It is: 'CAN 
THE WORLD SURVIVE: HALF. 
SLAVE AND HALF-FREE?" 
Only presently it applies to the 
whole world, and a century ago 
it was America's problem." He 
went on to say that, in 
his opinion, the future of 
western civilization, depends 
on our response to the chal- 
lenge offered by Soviet lead- 
ers who have enslaved their own 
and other peoples. He said the 
ideas of various thinkers on how 
to solve this dilemma would cer- 
tainly be helpful. 

At first, it seemed impossible 
to persuade important men to 
journey to our little town. I 
mailed 500 invitations .and re- 
ceived not one single acceptance. 
Then I started visiting various 
friends personally and explaining 
to them our desire to have lively 
healthy discussions in Bement. 
The subject appealed to some. 
Adlai Stevenson said it is the 
most important topic of the day. 
Others were moved to come by 
their regard for Lincoln, Ameri- 
ca's great international saint. 
They wished to visit his part of 
the country. 

Finally, our own Senator Paul 
Douglas agreed to start our Town 
Meetings on May 30, saying: 



Senator Ralph Flanders of Ver- 
mont, and Clark M. Eichelberger, 
executive director of the Amer- 
ican Association for the United 
Nations. 

In the fall Mrs. Theodore S. 
Chapman, president of the Gen- 
eral Federation of Women's 
Clubs, head of eleven million wo- 
men, speaks August 28th. The 
Ambassador of India, His Excel- 
lency G. L. Mehta, talks on Labor 
Day, September 5th, and pre- 



BY CARLETON SMITH 

cine so successfully there) Am- 
bassador Jose Mora of Uruguay, 
Historian A. L. Rowse of Oxford 
University in England, former 
Postmaster General James Far- 
ley, Senator Hubert H. Humph- 
rey, Arthur S. Fleming, Civil De- 
fense Administrator and Assist- 
ant to President Eisenhower, for- 
mer Presidents Herbert Hoover 
and Harry Truman, Adlai E. 
Stevenson, and Carl Sandburg. 
Not all of them will finally come, 
but our Town Meetings have 
caught on. Thanks to radio and 
foreign broadcasts, they have 
been heard by an estimated aud- 
ience of over forty million. They 
have been discussed at Preident 
Eisenhower's press conference in 
The White House. 

A Boston newspaper editorial- 
ized: "Shots fired in Bement may 
well be heard around the world." 
Our purpose has been, also, to 
educate ourselves, to help us 




Mr. Charles Shuman, first of the guest speakers at Bement's Centennial Town 
Meetings. Mr. Schuman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation 
came to Bement on Memorial Day and opened our series of Town Meetings to 
discuss the general topic — "Can Mankind Endure Half Slave and Half Free?" 
Also shown on the stage are "Mr. and Mrs. Bement" (Mrs. W. A. Hammond and 
Frank Totten) and the "Man and Woman of the Year" (Miss Isabelle Houston 
and H. E. Slusser. ) Others are: George Vance Jr., William W. Redman, R. N. 
Holloway, James Raglan (master of ceremonies,) and Clark Plummer (Chairman 
of Centennial Board of Directors.) Seated in the back are a group of high school 
girls who sang several selections during the program. 



sents the views of Prime Minister 
Nehru. Senator Everett Dirksen 
has chosen Sunday, September 
11th, and we have acceptances 
from Paul Martin, Minister of 
Health and National Welfare in 
Canada, (who handled Salk vac- 



make up our own minds as to 
what should be done about press- 
ing problems of the day. 

Jet propulsion and nuclear fis- 
sion have made us neighbors to 
all peoples. At our meeting with 
Senator Wiley, while introducing 



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him, I was startled to see a Nep- 
alese student, a young man from 
the foot-hills of the Himalayas, 
wander towards the platform 
with a camera. We have since 
had visitors from towns as re- 
mote as Hong Kong, Salisbury, 
England ; Djakarta, Indonesia ; 
and Copenhagen, Denmark. 

This is but one more evidence 
that today, and even more during 
Bement's second century, any 
happening anywhere in the globe 
may have profound and disturb- 
ing — perhaps even fatal — effects 
on our lives here in Central Illi- 
nois. 

We want to prepare ourselves 
to make the response our time 
demands. We do not want to be 
enslaved either through ignor- 
ance or inadvertance or our own 
negligence or apathy. 

Perhaps, as a result of our 
Centennial Town Meetings, the 
proposal for debates In the Lin- 
coln-Douglas tradition will win 
the approval of the 1956 Presi- 
dential candidates. Then, the 
clash of their ideas will help 
clarify the issues. We shall all 
know more about them and their 
thinking. 

Whether this happens or not, 
our guest speakers in Bement 
have broadened our horizons, and 
helped us to realize that peace 
can be achieved only by having 
reverence for other peoples' way 
of life. If men could only under- 
stand one another, they would 
neither idolize nor hate. 





MEMORIAL DAY— 1955 

Special recognition was given to Dr. 
J. G. Bauer, who has served as a den- 
tist in Bement since 1905. (50 years). 
The above picture was taken shortly 
after he came to Bement. The patient 
is Ray Siders. 



MEMORIAL DAY— 1955 

From left to right: Mr. Edward Glennon (former Bementonion and now presi- 
dent of the American Feed Manufacturing Association) who introduced the 
guest speaker, Mr. Charles Shuman (president of the American Farm Bureau 
Federation.) Next to Mr. Shuman is Clark Plummer (Centennial Chairman) and 
James Raglan (master of ceremonies for Memorial Day Reunion) is at the ex- 
treme right. 



MEMORIAL DAY- 
COMMUNITY REUNION 

Bright sunny weather, a crowd 
of 1,500, an outstanding guest 
speaker, an excellent program 
and a friendy, capable master 
of ceremonies in the person of 
James Raglan, combined to make 
Bement's fourth Community Re- 
union one to be long remembered. 
Many of those in attendance were 
in Centennial costumes which 
made this reunion different from 
the three preceeding it and it 
was a reminder to all of our big 
Centennial Celebration to follow. 

The High School Band present- 
ed a concert, Stanley Powell furn- 
ished music on the Hammond or- 
gan, and George Vance Jr. sang 
the "Star Spangled Banner" to 
open the program. Reigning as 
Mr. and Mrs. Bement were Frank 
Totten and Mrs. Wilbur Ham- 
mond who were introduced by 
Chairman Raglan. Both respond- 
ed with interesting personal rec- 
ollections and experiences. Hon- 
ored as "Man and Woman of the 
Year" were Harry E. Slusser and 
Miss Isabelle Houston, who were 
chosen for the fine services they 
have rendered to the Bement 
Community. Dr. J. G. Bauer, 
practicing dentist in Bement since 
May 1905 was given special rec- 
ognition during the program for 




Neighbors for 66 years. Close friends 
and neighbors since 1889, these men 
are shown at the Memorial Day Re- 
union, May 30, 1955. They are, from 
left, Ray Siders, Edgar Bodman, a 
descendant of a village founder, and 
Carl Thompson, who has served as 
village clerk for 33 years. 



Quality 
you trust 




•OTUED UNDER AUTHORITY OF THE COCA-COLA COMPANY IV 



CONGRATULATIONS 

BEMENT 

CENTENNIAL 

WE, TOO, ARE JUSTLY 

PROUD OF 

OVER A HALF-CENTURY 

OF SERVICE TO BEMENT 

THE COCA COLA BOTTLING CO 

OF DECATUR 




CONGRATULATIONS 

BEMENT 




General Telephone System 







Bement — "Fats and Leans" ready for baseball game — July 4, 1898. From the 
left: Mart Ellers, Harvey Vance, Lew Alvord, Jim Malone, C. A. Burks, J. Otie 
Evans, Wm. Booker, Riggs, W. A. Hammond, J. F. Sprague, W. W. Body, un- 
known, James Lancaster, unknown, H. E. Shaw, Geo. Oldridge, unknown, Ab 
Harshbarger, Chas. Shook, and Chas. Baker standing at the rear. 




J. T. MOORE 
One time Mayor of Bement, and mem- 
ber of School Board for several years. 




Mr. Frank Totten and Mrs. W. A. 
Hammond — Mr. and Mrs. Bement. 

his fifty year's service. The 
guest speaker was Charles Shu- 
man, president of the American 
Farm Bureau Federation, who 
spoke on the Centennial Theme — 
"Can Mankind Endure Half Slave 
and Half Free?" Mr. Shuman 
was introduced by a former. Be- 
mentonian, Edward Glennon, 
president of the American Feed 
Manufacturing Association, who 
now lives in Elmhurst, Illinois. 
Miss Rachel Day closed the pro- 
gram by singing "God Bless Am- 
erica." 




Senator Alexander Wiley, Wisconsin, senior Republican of the Senate Foreign 
Relations Committee, demonstrates his ability to rise to the occasion by donning 
a knitted wool shawl on Sunday afternoon, June 5, 1955 while being photograph- 
ed with several pioneer costumed women and bearded men. In the picture with 
Bement's distinguished visitor and Town Meeting speaker are, left to right: 
R. N. Holloway, John Monaghan who became 80 years old on the following day, 
Mrs. Ralph Dunaway, Miss Edna Moore, Senator Wiley, Mrs. Arbie Hawver, 
Mrs. J. H. Malkus, and Mrs. Ralph Moery Sr. 




BEMENT COT 
TOWN MtETl 



•f 



Mr. Philip Wilkie, only son of Wendell 
Wilkie, shown as he addressed the 
Centennial Town Meeting on June 19, 
1955. Also shown from the left in the 
background are: Carleton Smith, R. N. 
Holloway, and Bryan Wilson. 




June 19, 1955 — Following his talk at Bement's Town Meeting, Mr. Philip Wilkie 
poses with a group of Bement men. From the left they are: William W. Red- 
man, W. G. (Cotton) Porter, Charles Strohl, John Barnes, Mr. Wilkie, E. A. 
Stout, and Arbie Hawver. 



STAUBERS 



"HATSOFFTOBEMENT" 

A Centennial is more than a time for 
counting the past; it is also the time for measur- 
ing the future* 

For this reason, all of us here at Stauber's 
regard Bement's record of a century as a period 
of preparing for a greater Bement tomorrow. 



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June 26, 1955 — Mr. Norman Thomas, leader of the Socialist party, is shown 
following his talk at Bement's Centennial Town Meeting with a group of Be- 
ment people. From the left they are: Mrs. Roy B. Jones, Carleton Smith, Miss 
Rachel Day, Mr. Thomas', H. E. Slusser, and R. N. Holloway. 




A picnic lunch was served at the For- 
est Preserve Park for Senator Fland- 
ers prior to his address at the 4th of 
July-Bement Centennial Town Meet- 
ing. Shown at the left is Miss Els 
Rampel of Jakarta, Java, (Capital of 
Indonesia.) She is a representative of 
the largest news agency in Indonesia, 

BEMENT CELEBRATES 
100TH FOURTH OF JULY 

Bement's 100th Fourth of July 
was a day which will be long re- 
membered by its citizens and 
many visitors from various cities 
in Illinois as well as from other 
States and Countries. At 1 p.m. 
there was a picnic dinner at the' 
park, followed by the "Town 
Meeting" with Senator Ralph E. 
Flanders of Vermont as the guest 
speaker. 

At the close of the "Town 



visiting in this country to study the 
ways of democracy. Next to her is 
Carleton Smith, Director of the Na- 
tional Arts Foundation, Senator Ralph 
Flanders of Vermont, and Lew Wilkin- 
son, President of the State Bank of 
Bement. 



Meeting," most of those present 
at the park went to the High 
School to attend the opening of 
the National Arts Foundation 
Art Museum. Senator Flanders 
and his wife cut the ribbon mark- 
ing the formal opening and later 
received the guests at a tea given 
by the Reception Committee. In 
the early evening the crowd gath- 
ered in the park for the fireworks 
display that took place at sun- 
down. There was an estimated 
crowd of between 8 and 10 thous- 



and people at the park for the 
fireworks display. Following this 
display, which was one of the 
best seen in Bement, a free dance, 
sponsored by the Brothers of the 
Brush, was held in the pavilion. 
The July 4th celebration was the 
fourth such joint celebration 
sponsored by the Monticello 
Chamber of Commerce and the 
Bement Business Men. 




Senator Ralph Flanders of Vermont, 
guest speaker at Bement Town Meet- 
ing — July 4, 1955. 




Mr. Clark M. Eichelberger, executive 
director of the American Association 
for the United Nations. Mr. Eichel- 
berger is scheduled to speak at Be- 
ment's Town Meeting, July 17, 1955. 




BEMENT TO REVIVE CALI- 
THUMPIAN PARADE 

We can't tell you when the 
first one was staged in Bement, 
nor the last, but a Calithump- 
ian Parade was an established 
affair in the 1880's (perhaps 
earlier for the first Fourth of 
July celebration was held here 
in 1861 or 1862) and through 
the 1890's. On July 4, 1887, the 
Calithumpian Parade was the 
"best ever held in Bement" ac- 
cording to the July 9 issue of 
the Bement Gazette. 

"Fizz, Bang, Boom, is the way 
the Fourth was celebrated here 
in good old fashioned style. The 
boys commenced in the morning 
at one o'clock by ' ringing the 
bells and firing the anvils. The 
crowd commenced to come in 
very early and by eight o'clock 
the streets were filled. At ten 
the Calithumpian Parade started 

His Excellency, G. L. Mehta, Ambas- Mrs. Theodore S. Chapman, President ° U V' YeS ' a , Calithumpian Par- 
sador of India to the United States, General Federation of Women's Clubs. racle was a louo -> noisy, DOlSter- 
who is scheduled to speak in Bement Mrs. Chapman will speak in Bement OUS parade and fun was had by 



on Labor Day, September 5, 1955, pre- 
senting the views of Prime Minister 
Nehru. 



on August 28, 1955, following the Cen- 
tennial celebration. This will be part 
of our fall series of Town Meetings. 




all. 

And now Bement is to have 
another Calithumpian Parade. A 
Gigantic, Spectacular Parade 
with Bands, Floats, Ox Teams, 
Horses, and even a Calliope. The 
date — Monday, August 1, 1955. 




July 7, 1955— Mrs. Ruth Patterson 
(Bement Postmaster) cancels the first 
letters with the special cancellation 
stamp obtained by the Centennial 
Corporation with special permission 
from the U. S. Post Office Depart- 
ment. The stamp reads: "Bement Cen- 
tennial, July 31-August 6, 1855-1955." 
Many collectors have sent mail to Be- 
Square Dances were a featured attraction during Bement's Centennial, being ment to have it cancelled with this 
sponsored by the Brothers of the Brush. special Centennial stamp. 





The Brothers of the Brush went all out to make the Bement Centennial one of 
the best! Early in the summer they sponsored a big-time wrestling match in 
Bement. On the 4th of July they sponsored a Free Dance at the park in connec- 
tion with the Town Meeting and Free Display of Fireworks held that day. Their 
latest activity has been the purchase of a 1000 lb. steer which will be given 
away at a drawing at the close of the Centennial. 



Big-Time Wrestling Wows Bement. As 
a feature of the Bement Centennial 
program, eight grunt and groan mem- 
bers of the "rasslin" fraternity drew 
2000 roaring spectators to the Be- 
ment High School Gym for an exhib- 
ition of the noble art. The feature 
bout was between Roy McClarity (sub- 
stituting for Yukon Eric who was sus- 
pended just before the fight) and 
Mighty Atlas. The wrestling match 
was sponsored by the Brothers of the 
Brush. 




BROTHERS OF THE BRUSH 

Standing from left to right: Keith Bell, Howard Hill, Harry Slusser, Wayne 

Redman. 
Seated — first row from left to right: John Pope, Edward Fritz, Arbie Hawver. 
Seated 2nd row from left to right: Clark Plummer, R. N. Holloway. 




I 



June 16, 1955 — Wrestler Don de Cor- 
tes becomes an honorary member of 
the Brothers of the Brush just prior 
to the Big-Time Wrestling match. 
Heary Larson is on the left and John 
Pope is shown on the right pinning 
on the button. 



I 




BROTHERS OF THE BRUSH (On a busy morning in tow 

From left to right: John Glennon, Earl S. Folk, Ralph Moer 
Glennon. 



n) 

y Jr., Richard (Dick) 



SISTERS OF THE SWISH "KITCHEN BAND' 







The Sisters of the Swish became a very active group before and during the On the left: Mrs. Lily Peck Sprague. 

Bement Centennial. They held several pot-luck suppers, a box social, and a On the right: Mrs. Nora Bigham Tay- 

style show in connection with the Woman's Clubs of Bement. They also formed lor. When they worked at Etta Smith's 

a "Kitchen Band" and made caravans to other nearby towns in costume. Millinery Store in Bement. 




Sisters of the Swish — "Tea Time" or "Coffee Break?" From the left— Mrs. H 
E. Slusser, Mrs. Margaret Marker, Mrs. Ray Siders, Mrs. Rose Knapp, and Mrs. 
Wvman Patterson. 



Mrs. H. E. Slusser 



■ 



K ' ' 







Miss Rachel Day 



SISTERS OF THE SWISH BOX SOCIAL 



CENTENNIAL QUEEN 
CONTEST 

A meeting of candidates nomi- 
nated for queen of the Bement 
Centennial was held Wednesday, 
July 6th, and 48 girls enthusias- 
tically agreed to enter the con- 
test. They are as follows: Mary 
Kay Barber, Shirley Lindstrom, 
Frances Dick, Pearl Comerford, 
Elfrie Shepherd, Anna Mary 
Wrench, Ann Skagenberg, Mar- 
lene Bowyer, Carol Sue Hinton, 
Challice Larson, Jeanabelle Lash, 
Phyllis Shumard, Margaret Zoch, 
Nancy Allison, Ann Ard, Shirley 
Shonkwiler, Betty Comerford, 
Audine Moery, Shirley Hinton, 
Eilene Foran, Carleen McCul- 
lough, Margaret Wright, Elaine 
Foster, Jo Ann Bentley, Judy 
Redman, Sharon Ann Morton, 
Lois Cantrell, Leona Hudson, 
Frances Pierce, Marilyn Smith, 
Geneva Gulliford, Betty Linci- 
cum, Carrie Dobson, Barbara 
Warner, Janet McCollum, Nancy 
McCollum, Martha Postlewait, 
Sue Hannon, Rachel Day, Jacque 
Zindars, Irene Alexander,. Doro- 
thy Meece, Ellen Wiggins, Carole 
Kirwan, Patricia Doyle, Karen Jo 
Lux, Evelyn White and Sonja 
Lawson. 

To be Queen, or one of her 
Princesses in the Court of Honor, 
is a distinction never to be for- 
gotten. The winners will be guests 
of honor at all major Centennial 
functions; they will take part in 
the beautiful Queen Coronation 
Ceremony and be presented night- 
ly at Bement's historical spec- 
tacle, "Our Prairie Heritage." In 
addition to the honors connected 
with being chosen Queen or one 
of her Princesses many wonder- 
ful prizes are being awarded. 
First prize is a glamorous all ex- 
pense paid nine day vacation trip 
to New York for the Queen and a 
companion ; also a matched set of 
luggage. The next six girls who 
have the most votes will receive 
valuable prizes also. The Queen 
contest will close at 6 P.M. July 
28, 1955. 



Quote from history written by 
Emma Piatt — "Bement is 'Boom- 
ing' just now, and persons desir- 
ing to locate in a thriving, ener- 
getic place cannot find a better 
one of its size in Central Illinois." 

F. E. Bryant was ,a cousin of 
William Cullen Bryant and S. F. 
Smith, author of "America." Mr. 
F. E. Bryant represented Schuy- 





Rnfiti^f^ 



CENTENNIAL, QUEEN COMMITTEE 

Seated from the left: Miss Edna Loftus, Mrs. Lynn Rainey, Mrs. Edna Ham- 
mond, and Mrs. Florence Byerline. 

Standing from the left: Charles Strayer, E. A. Stout (Chairman), Mrs. Selby 
Clark, and Mrs. Lew Wilkinson. 




Mayor Lynn Crook and Miss Edna Loftus sign up girls for the Bement Centen- 
nial Queen Contest. 




Bement area girls waiting to sign up for the Centennial Queen Contest. 





IN MEMORY OF 

MY PARENTS 

JOHN WESLEY SMITH 

and 

SARAH ANN LAMAR SMITH 

Who came to Bement in 1866 

By CHARLES WESLEY SMITH - 1 876 



Ktnsrm 




IN LOVING MEMORY OF 

MY PARENTS 

MR. AND MRS. J. T. MOORE, 

MY SISTER NINA AND 

MY BROTHERS RAY, ROY AND 

VIVIAN MOORE 



EDNA L. MOORE 



f i 




v 
i 






-v. 



i 







IN MEMORY OF MY 
FATHER AND MOTHER 

CHARLEY E. HOFFHEINS 

(1871-1952) 

ONA MARKWELL HOFFHEINS 

(1880-1955) 

Lifelong Residents of the Bement Community 



WILBUR L HOFFHEINS 






a 



' 



7 



i 







it jr. 



*->* 




tmsrm 

In Memory of My 
FATHER AND MOTHER 



MR. and MRS. SAMUEL H. HOFFHEINS 

Pioneer Residents of the Bement Community 

GLADYS HOFFHEINS JONES 

(Mrs. Ron B. Jones) 












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IN MEMORY OF OUR PARENTS 

MR. AND MRS. THOMAS LAMB 

and 

MR. AND MRS. JAMES BRANDENBURG 

EARLY PIONEERS OF THIS VICINITY 

MR. and MRS. LESTER BRANDENBURG 



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National Arts Foundation Museum 



By CARLETON SMITH 

"For the whole earth is the sepulchre 
of famous men and their story is not 
graven only on stone over their na- 
tive earth but lives on far away with- 
out visible symbol woven into the 
stuff of other men's lives." 

— Pericles. 

Each of us spend but a few 
years on this planet. The lasting 
record of what we feel and think 
and dream and believe is art. And 
through the ages, art which car- 
ries a message to succeeding gen- 
erations endures. 

Nothing will be remembered of 
Bement, as nothing is remember- 
ed of ancient Athens or Thebes, 
except what is carved in stone or 
marble, written on the pages of 
a book, or painted on canvas here. 
Nothing will be known of the 
United States ten thousand years 
from now except what inspired 
creative spirits catch from the 
ever-vanishing present and put 
into lasting art. 




"In Kerry" by Jack B. Yeats (Ireland's 
greatest painter). This painting won 
prizes in England and France. 

Each civilization finds its own 
means of telling its story. What 
is remembered is what has sig- 
nificance for generations yet un- 
born. Therefore, the Bible is a 
work of art. Therefore, the time- 
less thoughts in Shakespeare's 
plays and sonnets describe actual 
happenings in Bement, if not in 
your own life, in your neighbors 
next door. We are all brothers. 



"MAN'S HERITAGE IN THE ARTS" 

Open Daily (including Sunday) through August 15th from 2 to 5 p.m. 
Also open on Monday and Saturday evening from 8 to 9 p.m. 
Special Hours during Centennial Week (July 31 through August 6) 

11 a.m. to 11 p.m. 

Be sure to visit this exhibit. It is one chance in a life-time to see such 
great historical documents and beautiful works of art. (Bement High 
School) 




Carleton Smith, left, shows Gov. and Mrs. Stratton Sir Jacob Epstein's latest por- 
trait bust, "Juleen," which is being displayed for the first time anywhere in 
the world at the art exhibit in Bement. The world famous sculptor sent the 
bust directly from London to Bement. Gov. and Mrs. Stratton came to Bement 
on July 1st for a preview of the art exhibit and later attended a tea in their 
honor at the Forest Preserve Park. 



All men have far more in com- 
mon than their differences. "The 
greatest man in the world," ac- 
cording to Albert Schweitzer, 
himself called the 'thirteenth dis- 
ciple,' "lives in a small town and 
spends his days helping others. 
He has true reverence for others' 
lives. He listens to how they say 
they would like to express them- 
selves and helps them to do as 
they want, not as he thinks is 
best for them." 

In our hurried, cluttered life, 
few of us take time to reflect, to 
ponder, to be alone with our- 
selves. In our efforts to make 
the best use of our good earth — 
the mother who never dies, as 
the Maori say — and to acquire 
material goods for ourselves and 
our children, most of us find little 
time for expressing ourselves in 
art. Yet Churchill paints as a 
pastime. So does Eisenhower. 
Truman plays the piano. Should 
not each of us have painting or 
sculpture or music or writing as 



well as golf or bridge for a hob- 
by? 

The National Arts Foundation 
museum in Bement affords an 
opportunity for you and succes- 
sive generations of our children 
to find beauty in art. It has out- 
standing samples of man's heri- 
tage in art. And, perhaps, seeing 
them will give you the urge to 
try your hand at expressing your- 
self in one art or another — in 
any event, to find an absorbing 
new pastime for your spare 
hours. 

Art. obviously, is not created 
for experts. It comes from and 
exists for all men. 

— o — 
The National Arts Foundation 
is a non-profit educational organ- 
ization incorporated in New York 
in 1947 with offices at 60 Broad- 
way, New York. It encourages 
creation, interpretation, and ap- 
preciation of the arts, and ex- 
change of arts and understand- 
ing between .all peoples. 



Bement's High School to inspire 
our children and nourish the 
good life in Bement. 




Senator and Mrs. Ralph E. Flanders of Vermont, officially opened the National 
Arts Foundation exhibit at Bement on Monday, July 4, 1955. Mrs. Flanders cut 
the ribbon at the entrance to the display while many people looked on. 



It sponsors many individual 
projects, of which the present 
exhibition is one. It brought to 
Bement paintings by Tinteretto, 
Rouault, Tamayo, Diego Rivera, 
and outstanding contemporary 
American and Cuban painters, 
etchings by Rembrandt, Goya, 
and Durer, drawings by Matisse 
and Diego Rivera, samples of the 
ancient art of the Mayas, stone 
carvings of the Eskimos, sculp- 
ture from the Greeks through 
Henry Moore, plates by Picasso, 
wood sculpture from Oberam- 
mergau, glass from Sweden, mus- 
ical manuscripts of Mozart, Puc- 
cini, Sibelius, Berlioz, Richard 
Strauss, John Alden Carpenter, 
Benjamin Britten, and Ralph 
Vaughan Williams. Sir Jacob Eu- 
stein's latest portrait bust, "Ju- 
leen" is exhibited here for the 
first time. There is an unique 
piece by Henry Moore. Georges 
Ronault, France's greatest living 
painter, is represented by one of 
his latest works, "Autumn Eve- 
ning," never before seen in Am- 
rica. 

The Library of Congress has 
sent five important historical 
documents, including the copy of 
the Gettysburg address Lincoln 
held when he spoke. The College 
of Fine and Applied Arts at the 
University of Illinois has loaned 
twelve of the most important 
works in its collection. Honorable 
and Mrs. Robert Woods Bliss 



♦have sent Pennell's lithographs of 
The Building of the Panama Ca- 
nal. Mrs. Charles Walgreen loan- 
ed us her famous Lincoln collec- 
tion, incuding the original death 
mask. 

There are good samples of 
man's heritage in the arts from 
4000 B.C. A few will remain in 



Tom Chatham, representative of John 
B. Rogers Co., who staged and direct- 
ed the Dramatic Spectacle — "Our 
Prairie Heritage." Mr. Chatham is 
shown here with part of the Walgreen 
Lincoln Collection at 'the National 
Arts Foundation Museum, held in 
connection with the Bement Centen- 
nial Program. 




Following the formal opening of the museum, Senator and Mrs. Flanders and a 
group of Bement people received the many guests as they were served at a tea 
given by the Hospitality Committee. 




••The Cap- 

rices D 3, who Wjw, 
slaUon— teaser, 
student or 




Carleton Smith with the painting 
"Autumn Evening" by Georges Rou- 
ault, France's greatest living painter. 
This is one of his latest works and 
has never been shown before in Am- 
erica. 




SSPSl*** 



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Hetnb ^nf t £* Cap^T "*a„ 



by 




From the left — Miss Emily Hammond, Mrs. W. A. Ham- 
mond, and Mrs. J. L. Bodman viewing the wood carving 
"Beethoven" carved from a tree trunk by Hans Heinzeller 
of Oberammergau, Germany, the home of the Passion 
Play. 



John Barnes with the letters of Lincoln and Douglas that 
focus historical attention upon Bement. 




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Carleton Smith with the copy of the 
Gettysburg address that Lincoln held 
while he spoke. (Loaned by the Lib- 
rary of Congress for the exhibit in 
Bement.) 




4000 



The Temperance Movement 

In the pioneer days of Piatt 
County, the use of alcoholic liq- 
uors, both as a medicine and as a 
beverage, was very common. 
While some drank to excess, 
nearly everyone drank moderate- 
ly. In those days drinking was 
not considered an evil only so far 
as it was taken in excess. This 
sentiment prevailed not because 
the people were naturally bad or 
immoral, but because the effects 
of alcohol were not known or un- 
derstood. There have been nu- 
merous temperance organizations 
and temperance movements dur- 
ing the history of this commun- 
ity. 




CEN 79 

Mr. and Mrs. Arbie Hawver 



CEN 73 

Richard (Dick) Skagenberg, Centen- 
nial Photographer. 




FARM RESIDENCE ,. JOHN HeATH, WILLOW BRANCH TOWNSHIP , Piatt Co.. ILLINOIS 




(falettden o£ Suwtt 



BEMENT 



CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION 

July 31 - August 6 

1955 



SUNDAY, JULY 31— 

FREEDOM OF RELIGION DAY 

Morning — Centennial Homecoming at the church 

of your choice. 
Afternoon — View the famed National Arts Foun- 
dation Museum of fine arts and the Wal- 
green Lincoln collection at High School; see 
the Antique Displays in downtown windows; 
visit the historic Bryant Cottage, Lincoln- 
Douglas State Memorial. 

3:00 P.M. — Conducted tour of National Arts 
Foundation Museum and Walgreen Lincoln 
collection. 

4:00 P.M. — Carillonic chimes concert from the 
Methodist Church. Chimes will also be played 
in a twilight concert as a prelude to the eve- 
ning service. 

8:00 P.M. — Observation of Freedom of Religion 
Day at Pageant site. Dr. Harold Ford Carr, 
Denver, Colo., guest speaker. 60 voice robed 
choir from all churches in Bement. 

MONDAY, AUGUST 1— 

CALLITHUMPIAN PARADE DAY 

9:00 A.M. — Official opening of Centennial. 
Church bells and chimes ring; sirens blow; 
cannonade — a callithumpian salute to Be- 
ment on its 100th year. 

10:00 A.M. — Registration of all guests and visit- 
ors at Centennial Headquarters. 

11:00 A.M. — Opening of gay Centennial Mid- 
way, featuring Mound City Shows with latest 



rides and attractions. A Carnival of Fun all 
week. 

3:00 P.M. — Gigantic Callithumpian Parade fea- 
turing marching bands, old time calliope, 
spectacular floats. (Callithumpian Parades 
were once traditional with Bement pioneers.) 

4:00 P.M. — Conducted tour of Fine Arts Museum 
and Walgreen Lincoln collection. 

7:15 P.M. — Pre-pageant concert by famed Ansar 
Shrine Band in tribute to Director Roy B. Jones 
of Bement for his 30 years of service to the 
band. 

8:15 P.M. — Grand premiere performance of the 
Pageant Spectacle OUR PRAIRIE HERITAGE. 
The exciting and dramatic history of our 
town told with a cast of 250 actors on mam- 
moth outdoor stage. Introduction of Queen 
candidates. Thrilling fireworks display. 

10:00 P.M. — Colorful Coronation Ball at beauti- 
ful new high school gym, with music by 
Wayne Karr and his orchestra for your danc- 
ing and listening pleasure. See the Corona- 
tion of the Centennial Queen and the Cen- 
tennial Grand March at 10:45 P.M. 

TUESDAY, AUGUST 2— 
OLD SETTLERS PICNIC 

10:00 A.M. — Registration of all old settlers and 
guests at Centennial Headquarters. 

1 1 :00 A.M. — Conducted tour of National Arts 
Museum. 

NOON — Old Settlers Picnic Basket Dinner at Be- 
ment Forest Preserve Park. 



1:30 P.M. — Horse show by Trail Blazer's Riding 
Club. 

2:00 - 4:00 P.M. — Old Settlers Olympics, featur- 
ing hog calling, horseshoe pitching, husband 
calling and old fiddlers' contests. PRIZES and 
LOTS OF FUN! 

5:00 P.M. — Conducted tour of Museum of Fine 
Arts and Walgreen Lincoln collection. 

8.-30 P.M.— Second performance of OUR PRAIRIE 
HERITAGE. A thrilling accolade of Bement's 
100 year history told in Song, Dance and 
Narration. Grand Pageant Finale of mam- 
moth fireworks display. 
10:00 P.M. — Square dancing in the moonlight at 
grade school court. 

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 3 

ILLINOIS DAY 

10:00 A.M. — Registration of all guests at Cen- 
tennial Headquarters. 

1 :00 P.M. — Formal Dedication of the Restoration 
of the Historic Bryant Cottage State Memorial. 
Shrine of Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. 
Douglqs. 

1 =30 P.M. — Basket dinner at Bement Forest Pre- 
serve Park. Illinois state officials as honored 
guests. 

2:30 P.M. — Address by distinguished speaker. 
3:30 P.M. — Style Show by the Sisters of the 

Swish. 
7:00 P.M. — Conducted tour of Fine Arts Museum 

and Walgreen Lincoln collection. 
8:15 P.M.— OUR PRAIRIE HERITAGE with a cast 

of 250 which covers hundreds of years of 

history — from the early Indians to the Atom 

Bomb. 

10:00 P.M. — Square dancing under the stars. 

THURSDAY, AUGUST 4— 
YOUNG AMERICA DAY 

10:00 A.M. — Centennial registration at head- 
quarters. 

1:30 P.M. — Kiddies Parade. The small fry take 
over for a parade of their own. Prizes for all 
participants. 

2:30 P.M.— Kiddie Kontests. 

3:30 P.M. — Free show for the kids by Ortheldo, 
the Magician. 

7:00 P.M. — Conducted tour of Fine Arts Museum 

and Walgreen Lincoln collection. 
8:15 P.M.— OUR PRAIRIE HERITAGE, a pageant 

spectacle telling the Bement Story. 



10:00 P.M. — Grab your partner for a square 
dance!! 



FRIDAY, AUGUST 5— 
AGRICULTURE DAY 

A preview of the New in agriculture in the setting 
of the Old Time County Fair. 

9:00 A.M. — Registration of farm guests and vis- 
itors at Centennial Headquarters. Visit the 
Agriculture Tent. See the outstanding agri- 
cultural displays, some seen for the first time 
east of the Mississippi River. Display of ag- 
riculture implements — old and new — 
throughout entire Centennial Week. 

2:30 P.M. — Address by distinguished speaker 
representing agriculture. 

4:00 P.M. — Conducted tour of Fine Arts Museum 
and Walgreen Lincoln collection. 

7:15 P.M. — Raffle drawing at Pageant Site for 
1000 pound steer conducted by Brothers of 
the Brush. 

8:15 P.M. — Another performance of the Histo- 
rical Spectacle OUR PRAIRIE HERITAGE. 
10:00 P.M. — Dance with a gal with a hole in 
her stocking!!!! 

SATURDAY, AUGUST 6— 
AMERICAN FREEDOM DAY 

Old fashioned patriotism — just as good today as 
it was 100 years ago. 

10:00 A.M. — Centennial registration at head- 
quarters. 

2:00 P.M. — American Freedom Parade, featur- 
ing marching bands, drum and bugle corps, 
and crack drill teams. 

3:00 P.M. — Distinguished speaker. 

4:00 P.M. — Conducted tour of Fine Arts Museum 
and Walgreen Lincoln collection. 

7:15 P.M. — Beard Shaving contest conducted by 
Remington Electric Shavers. Final judging in 
Beard Contest and Kangaroo Kourt session. 
Fun and frolic with the Brothers of the 
Brush!! 

8:30 P.M.— Final performance of OUR PRAIRIE 
HERITAGE with a cast of 250 telling in song 
and story the gay and colorful history of Be- 
ment's 100 years. Thrilling fireworks display 
as a grand finale. See Bement's Centennial 
Seal as a sensational set piece!! 
10:00 P.M. — Free square dancing at the grade 
school court. Grand Finale to Bement's 100th 
Birthday Celebration. 



OUR PRAIRIE HERITAGE 

STAGED AND DIRECTED BY TOM CHATHAM 
A JOHN B. ROGERS PRODUCTION 






SPECTACLE DIVISION— WALTER SLATER 
Cast — Roy B. Jones 
Scenario and Title — Lew Wilkinson 
Scenario Secretary — Carleton Wildman 
Costumes and AAake-Up — Isabelle Houston 



Properties — Ernest McCullough 
Construction — George Wilkinson 
Spectacle Music — Stanley Powell 
Building and Grounds — A. E. Bodman 



The CENTENNIAL CHOIR directed by Mrs. Keith Bell 
Combined High and Grade School Bands directed by Joe Beardon 

NARRATORS 

EVELYN FISHER 
RON HOLLOWAY 

JAMES RAGLAN 

REV. CLYDE WEST 

HELEN WEST 



SCENE No. 1— PROLOGUE 

The CENTENNIAL QUEEN and her Court of Honor 
will appear every night in a spectacular array of cos- 
tumes, music and pageantry. 

The CENTENNIAL QUEEN and her Court have 
been selected from the following: Mary Kay Barber, Shir- 
ley Lindstrom, Frances Dick, Pearl Comerford. Elfrie 
Shepherd, Anna Mary Wrench, Ann Skagenberg, Marlene 
Bowyer, Carol Sue Hinton, Challice Larson, Jeanabelle 
Lash, Phyllis Shumard, Margaret Zoch, Nancy Allison, 
Ann Ard, Shirley Shonkwiler, Betty Comerford. Audine 
Moery, Shirley Hinton, Eilene Foran, Carleen McCullough, 
Margaret Wright, Elaine Foster, Jo Ann Bentley, Judy 
Redman, Sharon Ann Morton, Lois Cantrell, Leona Hud- 
son, Frances Pierce, Marilyn Smith, Geneva Gulliford, 
Betty Lincicum, Carrie Dobson, Barbara Warner. Janet 
McCollum, Nancy McCollum, Martha Postlewait, Sue 
Hannon, Rachel Day, Jacque Zindar, Irene Alexander, 
Dorothy Meece, Ellen Wiggins, Carole Kirwan, Patricia 
Rae Doyle, Karen Jo Lux, Evelyn White. 

THE MOUNTED GUARD OF HONOR 

Herman Wood, Carl Canull, Ross Manning, Robert Het- 
tinger, Clifford Willis, Donald W. Hall, Bud Barnhart, 
Irvin Beckhart, Archie Rogers, Loren Rogers, Larry Rog- 
ers, Dale Norfleet, Carl Eads, Meliford Nelson, Billy Joe 
Jordan, William Jordan, Bob Morgan, Paul Hannon, Bob 
Wood, Jim Beckhart, BOY SCOUTS, GIRL SCOUTS. 



SCENE No. 2— THE FIRST AMERICANS 

Near here, on the trail between the Sangamon and 
Kaskaskia rivers, the Pottawatomies and the Kickapoos 
pitched their tepees. It was in this land of theirs, over a 
hundred years ago, they hunted the wild turkey, the elk 
and deer, antilope and buffalo, he peace pipe or Calu- 
ment is used to seal the friendship of visiting kinsmen. 

CAST: INDIANS 

Mrs. Alice Hendrix, Mr. and Mrs. John Warehime, Mr. and 



Mrs. Stanley Foley, Mr. and Mrs. Don Haws & sons, Den- 
ny, Larry, Mr. and Mrs. Guy Totten, Mr. and Mrs. John R. 
Hendrix, Judy and Johnny Bill, Mr. and Mrs. Gaylord Hen- 
drix, Glo Ann and Gary, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Durbin, Mrs. 
Gertrude Lefever, Mr. and Mrs. A. C. Taylor, Mr. and 
Mrs. Clarence Lefever. Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Yockey, James 
Yockey, Mrs. J. D. Poling, Mary and Margaret, Sara Pol- 
ing, Carol Allen, Mr. and Mrs. R. E. Taylor, Janet and 
Terry, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Woodward, Mr. and Mrs. 
James Womer, Mr. and Mrs. James Laughlin, Ronald 
Laughlin, 'Mr. and Mrs. Lynn Peterson, Ruth Hawver, 
Mrs. Fred Goodrich, Linda Eads. 

SCENE No. S— INDIAN INTERLUDE 

It wasn't unusual, among these Indians, to find an 
Indian Princess. Sometimes, on a warm summer night, 
she would call to "her" Indian lover. This was an occas- 
ion for festivities — and perhaps an Indian marriage, with 
vows taken before the entire tribe. 

CAST: Lani Drake and John Sebens. 



SCENE No. 4— INTO THE WEST 

The western tide of civilization brought the pioneer- 
ing white man to the Sangamon. The Indians leave their 
camping grounds. The late afternoon sun light fades in 
the purple dust and the Indians were gone into the West, 
across the wide Mississippi to Missouri. 

Horsemen: Carl Canull, Carl Eads, Robert Hettinger. 



SCENE No. 5— EARLY AMERICANA 

It was Christmas Day in 1853 when Joseph Bodman, 
L. B. Wing, and Henry Little, came upon the spot where 
Bement was to be located. The magnificient view that 
stretched before them was void of human habitation — 
no farms, or orchard; not a single solitary living thing. 
They had come to buy land and establish homes and they 



did. The covered wagon train arrived with early settlers 
and a camp was' made for the night. 

CAST: 

L. B. Wing — Earl Lincicum 
Henry Little — Albert Larson 
Joseph Bodman — Lynn Larson 
Mrs. Bodman — Mrs. Louis A. Miller 
Mrs. Little — Emily Marker 

PIONEERS: Emily Hammond, Rose L. Stewart, E. 
S. Bodman, Alvina Bodman, May Hammond, Lillie Lar- 
son, Marietta Marker, David Marker, Steve Marker, 
Glenn Spearman, Junior Kirby, Jack Corum, Mr. and Mrs. 
Bryan Wilson, Ella Swenson, Emily Marker, Melinda 
Marker, Peggy Marker, Betty Lincicum, Francis Linci- 
cum, Dale Turner, Cora Turner, John Turner, Bettv Hen- 
drix, Noble Hendrix (child), Peggy Hendrix (child), Mrs. 
Lynn Crook, Mrs. Louis A. Miller, Fred Davies, Louis A. 
Miller, Mrs. Evelyn Mintun, Robert Fisher, David Fisher, 
Sue Fisher, Mrs. J. R. Bower, Edna Burgess, Jessie Bur- 
gess, Blake Livingston, Jeanette Wildman, Georgia Lar- 
son, Polly Larson, Lynn Tucker. 

HORSEMEN: Herman Wood, Bob Morgan, Paul 
Hannon, Donald Hall, Irvin Beckhart, Bud Barnhart, Dale 
Norfleet, Larry Rogers, Clare Pfeffer. 

SCENE No. 6— FIRST WEDDING 

A wedding was a cause for rejoicing and especially 
so since this particular wedding was the first ceremonv 
to be performed in the new settlement. Martha Hadsall 
and Thomas Bane were joined in wedlock by a traveling 
parson who was riding his circuit. 

CAST: 

Martha Hadsall, the Bride — Mrs. S. Royal 
Thomas Bane, the Groom — Mr. S. Royal 
Minister — Elton Haynes 
Brides-maid — Betty Hendrix 
Jumping Brother-in-law — Dale Turner 
Brother-in-law's wife — Betty Lincicum 

IN GROUP: Lillie Larson, Rose Stewart, Marietta 
Marker, David Marker. Steve Marker, Emily Marker, 
Mollie Van Gorder, Melinda Marker, Francis Lincicum 
Cora Turner, Louis A. Miller, Fred Davies, Blake Livings- 
ton, Jeanette Wildman, Jessie Burgess. 

HORSEMEN: Dcnald Hall, Bud Barnhart, Loren 
Rogers, Archie Rogers. 

....SCENE No. 7— EARLY CHURCH 

Where there is courage, such as displayed by our 
early pioneers, there is usually high religious ideas. We 
see the early settlers arriving to attend one of the first 
churches in our community, some are on foot, some are 
on horseback, while others come in farm wagons and 
buggies. In its simplicity, the scene is one of the most im- 
pressive as a composite service is held. Today there are 
many faiths in our community. In a community where 
democracy reigns, in religion as in politics, everyone wor- 
ships according to the dictates of his own heart. 

CAST. 

Minister — Rev. David Scates 

Horsemen — Clifford Willis, Dale Norfleet, Ervin 
Beckhart. 



SCENE No. 8 — SCHOOL 

It was late in the Autumn of 1856 that Joseph Bod- 
man, Aaron Yost and Henry Booth were elected directors 
to provide a school. The first school was held in the home 
of William Pickens. By 1859, the enrollment was such 
that it necessitated the construction of a two-story 
building which was completed in June 1859. 

CAST: 

Teacher — Helen Fay 

SCHOOL KIDS: Charles Strayer, Jr., Steve Wallace, 
David Redman, Jim Fay, Glen Kitson, Roger Moery, Steve 
Rittenhouse, Charles Body, Jr., Steve Hendrix, Bill Tracy, 
Marvin Fairbank, Bemie Morris, Larry Burton, Steve 



Wrench, Alan Fay, Alan L. Merry, Gus Wall, Sue Yates, 
Sue Siders, Jan Raglan, Judy Funk, Cynthia Dare, Donna 
Kitson, Margaret Fairbank, Brenda Morris, Sue Steideng- 
er, Linda Burton, Paula Raglan, Susanne Coleman, Ellen 
Haynes, Eugenia Wright, Linda Funk, Janice Funk, Mary 
K. Body. 

HORSEMAN: Larry Rogers. 

SCENE No. 9— THE ARRIVAL OF THE IRON HORSE 

The history of Bement and the history of the railroad 
are closely related, for it was the coming of the rail- 
road that opened the territory to settlement. These were 
busy, hectic days, these first days of Bement, and as the 
railroad neared completion, excitement mounted, as the 
people eagerly awaited the completion of the Great West- 
ern Railroad. 

CAST: 

5 Trainmen — Herbert Burton, Jack Romack, Bob 

Romack, Joe Olinger Sr., Bill LeCrone 
Fiddler: Jasper Burton 
Caller — Russell Fritz 
Lady — Mrs W. A. Drake 

OTHERS: Floyd Larrimore, Marion Fish, Marvin 
Fairbanks, Robert Postlewait, Don Livingston, William 
W. Redman, Mrs. William Redman, Bob Redman, Patty 
Bales, Sharet Ater, Billy Fritz, Billy Lash, Peggy Body, 
Mike Ball, Sunny Strohl, Tony Strohl, Sandy Strohl, Shir- 
ley Janes, Frances Redman, Linda LeCrone, Margaret 
Fairbanks, Ray Pruitt, Bob Morris, Billy Morris, Evelyn 
Fish, James Fish, Esther Livingston, Blake Livingston, 
Nancy Livingston, Glenna Jo Gorrell, Virginia Livingston, 
Ruby Fay, Clyde Fay, Alice Fay, Jerry Wildman, Zelma 
Morris, Willard Morris, Gerald Wildman, Elmnia Wild- 
man, Roberta Larimore, Larry Dean Larimore, Eddie 
Walsh, Johnny Pope, Martha Postlewait, Audine Moery, 
John Moery, John Irvin Foran, Kathie Stoerger, Harold 
Redman, Wilma Redman, Steven Redman, Larry Wild- 
man, Sharo.n,Morton, Wilma Hinton, Judy Redman, Becky 
Morris, Bill Goodman, Dave Goodman, Jerry Stout, Jim 
Yockey, Duane Warner, Barbara Warner, Karen Jo Lux. 

SCENE No. 10— LINCOLN-DOUGLAS DEBATE 

It was on a day in June, 1858, that Abraham Lincoln, 
the young attorney from Springfield, called at the home 
of F. E. Bryant. There, he met with the Honorable Step- 
hen A. Douglas, and the groundwork was laid for the 
great debates between the two men. From these debates 
emerged Lincoln's question: "Can a Nation Exist Half 
Slave— Half Free?" 

CAST: 

Mr. Lincoln — Wayne Redman 

Mr. Douglas — Wayne Sparks 

Mr. Bryant — Carl Redman 

Mrs. Bryant — Mrs. Wayne Sparks. 

SCENE No. 11— THE WAR BETWEEN THE STATES 

With the community experiencing an era of prosper- 
ity; good schools and churches, and the best in transpor- 
tation, and industry, the war between the States was like 
a bolt from the blue — The nation was divided and war 
engulfed the people of our land. In the Bement area, there 
were the Williams' brothers, one of whom fought for the 
South and the other for the Union. The men of the Be- 
ment area quickly volunteered their services but the toll 
exacted from these brave men was high in blood: Oliver 
Kidney killed at Knoxville; Jonathan Ruble killed by Con- 
federate guerillas; F. M. Wildman killed at Lost Moun- 
tain, Ga. ; Benjamin Watts killed at Chattanooga; Gideon 
Blaxam missing at Chickamauga; James W. Terrill killed 
at Gasconada; plus many injured and wounded. 

CAST: 

Officer — • 

SOLDIERS: Jim Kirwan, Bob Gallivan, Dave Galli- 
van, Mike Gallivan, John Hannon, Jim O'Hara, Dave 
Hawkins, Stanley Courson, John Strater, Bill Hannon, 
John Forrestal, Frank Feeney, Lester Jamison, Jack 
Reeder. 



WOMEN: Betty Miller, Margaret Wright, Catherine 
Ray, Flora Dye, Betty Lincicum, Velma Murphy, Marie 
Clark, Mrs. Bryan Wilson, Mrs. James Raglan. 

SCENE No. 12— SCHOOL REBELLION 

One condition of hiring teachers for these first early 
schools were that the boys and girls should be strictly 
disciplined — and the teachers' appearance and conduct 
should be above reproach. But it wasn't unusual to find 
a teacher and his assistant who proved unpopular with 
their students. As some of the boys "liked" school so 
much that they stayed on until they were 24 years old, 
they sometimes took matters into their own hands and 
disposed of the teachers as they saw fit. 

CAST: 

Teacher — Bill Gorrell 
Ass't Teacher — Bradford Fristoe 
Foreman— Raymond Dick 
Bad Boy — Paul Larimore 

Others: William Hendrix, Jack Plummer, Carl T. 
Redman, Floyd Larimore, Oscar Winzenburger 

SCENE No. IS— TOWN MEETING 

In 1882, a Town Meeting was held to determine what 
should be done towards draining the marshlands around 
Bement, which were causing so much ague and other 
sickness among the populace. Three commissioners, Al- 
fred Jay, Samuel L. Busick, and Anthony Clark, were 
elected to undertake the arduous task of viewing the 
land, and determining the benefits to be derived from a 
drainage ditch. Three years were required to complete the 
project and the cost mounted to $30,000, but the benefits 
derived down through the years have more than justified 
the action taken by those early settlers of Bement. 

CAST: 

Mr. Clark — Edw. Kanitz 
Mr. Jay — Marion Durbin 
Mr. Busick— E. E. Totten 

Margaret Wright, Betty Miller, Catherine Ray, Selda 
Miller, Flora Dye, Betty Lincicum, Velma Murphy, Marie 
Clark, Mrs. Bryan Wilson, Mrs. James Raglan. 

SCENE No. 14— THE GAY 90's 

And so time sped into the future — and with a rush 
the turn of the century was upon the little communities 
of Bement, Ivesdale and Milmine — life changed for every- 
one — music, living conditions, the styles, the entertain- 
ment of the people became delightfully different. These 
were the days of the wasp waist, the leg o'mutton sleeve, 
and the Gibson girl — the day of the bicycle built for two 
and the surrey with the fringe on top — the bustle and the 
mustache. 

CAST: 

CAN CAN GIRLS: Shirley Shonkwiler, Madonna 
Foran, Judy Strohl, Pat Scott, Ann Wilkinson, Barbara 
Hodam. 

BATHING BEAUTIES: Esther Livingston, Opal 
Morton, Roberta Larimore, Ruby Fay, Catherine Redman. 

LIFE GUARDS: Floyd Larimore, Charles Body. 

GERMAN BAND: Don Livingston, Bob Morris, Bill 
Morris, Joe Sapp, Larry Slater. 

Cop — Willard Morton 
Photographer — E. A. Stout 
Balloon Man — Rev. Fleming 
Medicine Man— Blake Livingston 
Bad Boy — Bobby Carpenter 

OTHERS: S. D. Body, Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Wright, 
Glenn Spearman, Becky Morris, Mrs. Willard Morris, 
Floy Hawver, Lelah Lamb, Nora Buckner, Grace Le- 
fever, Shirley Lamb, Stella Moore, Flo Stout, Howard 
Moore, Elmer Haynes, Harry Lamb, Ola Haynes, Arbie 
L. Hawver, Bill Fish, Cora Fish, Willard Morton, Mrs. 
Charles Body, Charles Body, Jr., Mary K. Body, Sue 
Redman, Patty Redman, David Redman, Bill Larimore, 
Clyde Fay, Carl Redman, Clarence Lefever, Golda Funk, 
Ruth Abel, Guy Medaris, Willard Durbin. C. D. Spencer, 
Willard Morris, Hugh Fisher, Larry Larimore. 



SCENE No. 15 — WORLD WAR I 

The year was 1914, and again the people of Bement, 
Ivesdale and Milmine heard the troubling sounds of war 
in the making. But this time it was in Europe — Three 
Thousand miles across the good old Atlantic Ocean! 

CAST: 

Mother and children — Hazel Liestman, Wardy Joe 
Dare, Ann Steidinger. 

Bugler — Isadore Westfall. 

Soldiers — Ralph L. Allison, Dick Merry, Ward Dare, 
George Swaim, Jr., Billie Burton, E. L. Peck, Melvin 
Spencer. 

SCENE No. 16— "ROARIN' TWENTIES" 

1925! Prosperity abounded! Real estate values 
soared — and Hollywood starlets and aviators were vieing 
for national attention. It was the era of flappers, bob- 
bed hair, radio, flag pole sitters, Clara Bow and home 
brew. Money flowed like water! Let's take a look at 
"the get rich quick period." 

CAST: 

M.C.— Wayne Hill. 
Flapper — Simone Drake. 
Millionaire — Bob Jones. 
Chauffeur — Earl Wright. 
News Boy — Chuckie Knapp. 

CHARLESTON DANCERS: Junior Kirby, Kay 
Steidinger, Ken Steidinger, Lotha Clark, Selby Clark, 
Linda Byerline, Kay Strohl, Sonya Clark, Robert Hodam, 
Sam Clark, Shirley Lamb, Mary Totten, Earl Medaris, 
Jeanne Jones, Jerry Stout, Ellen Wiggins, Jack Coram, 
Wayne Redman, Josephine Redman, Glenn Spearman, 
Sharon Morton, Wilma Eades, John Elder, Charles 
Strohl. 

SCENE No. 17— THE ATOMIC AGE 

The community's cause in World War II and the 
Korean conflict was so common to that of many com- 
munities throughout the United States — Many were the 
acts of untold valor performed by our sons in service, 
servicemen we salute you — We present in your honor 
the tableau of the most American of all pictures. 

The day of March 17 will be a day long remembered 
by many of us for its our first look at an atomic ex- 
plosion — We hope that it will be our pleasure only to 
see it as a simulated test and an experiment - — The 
experiment is about to take place, and we ask that you 
who are witnessing the blast, please keep your eyes away 
from the bomb tower. 

CAST: 

MARINES on IWO JIMA: Bob Jeffers, Leo Foran, 
Chalmer Hinton, Kenneth Fry, Dave Dobson, Gordon 
Lindstrom. 

SCIENTIST'S: W. G. Porter, Alva E. Turner. 

SOLDIERS: Harold Wallace, John Riddle. Babe 
Foran, Bernard Jarboe, Ralph Weathery, Bob Harper, 
Ed Foran, Lynn Royse, Eugene Wright, Homer Hinton. 

SCENE No. 18 — HALL OF FAME 

Upon the occasion of so important an anniversary 
as our Centennial Celebration, it is indeed fitting that 
we pay homage to some of the men and women who over 
the years have built our communities and our country. 
It is our privilege to do so tonight. 

Joseph Bodman, L. B. Wing, Joseph Alvord, John 
Mallory Camp, Francis E. Bryant, S. K. Bodman, Charles 
F. Tenney, George L. Spear, Horace Haldeman, Steve 
Hawks. W. G. Cloyd, William J. Day, W. W. Hammond, 
J. F. Sprague, Samuel L. Busick. 

SCENE No. 19 — FINALE 

Tonight we have reviewed the past from the Indians 
and pioneers at Bement, Ivesdale and Milmine, to the 
happy filled days we live in today. We live amidst the 
bounty of the richest of farming lands, wonderfully de- 
veloped. And we have at our doors the strength and 
genius of modern industry, constantly building for great- 
er comforts, greater efficiencies. 

Featuring THE ENTIRE CENTENNIAL CAST 




Left to right — John R. Funk, C. O. Funk, Johnny Pope, Herb Hooper, 
Raymond Noe, Cal Poundstone, Denny Probus, Earl Van Landingham, 

Arbie Hawver 



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BEMENT, ILLINOIS — PHONE 4501 



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REFRIGERATORS - FREEZERS - AIR CONDITIONING 



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We would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere grati- 
tude to all those fine people of Bement and community, as well as former 
residents and visiting friends and neighbors of Bement, who have con- 
tributed to the efforts necessary in making this Centennial a success. To 
name each deserving person is an impossibility, but each will have the 
satisfaction of realizing that a measure of the success is his. Only through 
the combined efforts of so many people working together unselfishly and in 
harmony could such a glorious celebration be accomplished. It is our wish 
to especially thank the officers, chairmen, and members of all the commit- 
tees for their untiring efforts to make this celebration possible. We also want 
to thank all the people who helped prepare the material for this book. 

As we write the final entries in this book, we can't help but think 
of the next 100 years . . . Abraham Lincoln once said: "I believe a man 
should be proud of the place in which he lives, and that he should so live 
that the place will be proud that he lived in it." 

We have achieved a great community spirit during this Centennial 
Celebration. Let's keep it alive! Let's make Bement an even better place in 
which to live! There must be many things about Bement that you like or 
you wouldn't call Bement your home — so be a booster, not a knocker! 
Boost Bement for the things you like about it, and do something about 
the things you don't like. Don't sit back and say: "Let George do it." 

Errors of omission, typographical errors, misspellings and oversights 
of this book will be rectified and acknowledged in the next Centennial Book 
to be published in the year 2055. Please contact the committee at that time. 



Francis Wm. Phillips, Chairman 
Historical Book Committee 




Congratulations Bement! 

We salute a century old Community, served by us for more 
than 50 years. During this time we have grown and pros- 
pered in this God's Prairie Land. 

This has been made possible by the continued trust which has 
been shown us year after year by the good people of the Be- 
ment community and surrounding territory. 

May we continue to merit your confidence and patronage as 
we enter a new century. 

OFFICERS 

RALPH MOERY, SR., President 
WAYNE REDMAN, Secretary 

DIRECTORS 

Frank Totten, D. P. Rittenhouse, Frank Lux, Sr., Francis Tracy, 
Wayne Redman, Ralph AAoery, Sr., E. E. Lamb 

EMPLOYEES 

Esther Mull, Wyman Patterson, Robert Danielson, Orval Jeffers, 
Arthur Knowles, Eastle Hutson, Emmett Fritz 

GLEN DURBIN, Manager 

BEMENT GRAIN CO. 

BEMENT, ILLINOIS Organized Jan. 1903 PHONE 231 1 



UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS-URBANA 

977 3673B423B C001 

THE BEMENT STORY, 1855-1955 BEMENT. ILL 




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